that was probably due to my editing the post to remove some unwanted noise (ie. hostname, username etc.) >> Which fixed it for me. :-) you meant it actually printed out "I am bar (1 2 3)" as expected? (ie. $0 gets 'bar' instead of './foo') . what perl version did you use? i've tried this on all 5.16, 5.18 and 5.22 ... all the same. thanks for looking at it.