baud: /bawd/, n.

[simplified from its technical meaning] n. Bits per second. Hence kilobaud or Kbaud, thousands of bits per second. The technical meaning is level transitions per second; this coincides with bps only for two-level modulation with no framing or stop bits. Most hackers are aware of these nuances but blithely ignore them.

Historical note: baud was originally a unit of telegraph signalling speed, set at one pulse per second. It was proposed at the November, 1926 conference of the Comit Consultatif International Des Communications T l graphiques as an improvement on the then standard practice of referring to line speeds in terms of words per minute, and named for Jean Maurice Emile Baudot (1845-1903), a French engineer who did a lot of pioneering work in early teleprinters.