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exec /eg-zek'/ or /eks'ek/ vt., n. 

 1. [Unix: from
   `execute'] Synonym for chain, derives from the
   exec(2) call.  2. [from `executive'] obs. The command
   interpreter for an OS (see shell); term esp. used
   around mainframes, and prob. derived from UNIVAC's archaic EXEC 2
   and EXEC 8 operating systems.  3. At IBM and VM/CMS shops, the
   equivalent of a shell command file (among VM/CMS users).

The mainstream `exec' as an abbreviation for (human) executive is
   not used.  To a hacker, an `exec' is a always a program,
   never a person.