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Words of the form $'string' are treated specially. The word expands to string, with backslash-escaped characters replaced as specified by the ANSI C standard. Backslash escape sequences, if present, are decoded as follows:

alert (bell)
an escape character (not ANSI C)
form feed
carriage return
horizontal tab
vertical tab
single quote
double quote
the eight-bit character whose value is the octal value nnn (one to three digits)
the eight-bit character whose value is the hexadecimal value HH (one or two hex digits)
a control-x character

The expanded result is single-quoted, as if the dollar sign had not been present.