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The string following whatever was matched by the last successful pattern match (not counting any matches hidden within a BLOCK or eval() enclosed by the current BLOCK). Example:

local $_ = 'abcdefghi';
print "$`:$&:$'\n";     # prints abc:def:ghi

The use of this variable anywhere in a program imposes a considerable performance penalty on all regular expression matches. To avoid this penalty, you can extract the same substring by using "@-". Starting with Perl 5.10, you can use the </p> match flag and the ${^POSTMATCH} variable to do the same thing for particular match operations.

This variable is read-only and dynamically-scoped.

Mnemonic: ' often follows a quoted string.