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>Perhaps "bit" is not a contraction (or abbreviation or whatever) for
>"binary digit" at all.
From The Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon (1948):
The choice of a logarithmic base corresponds to the choice of a unit
for measuring information. If the base 2 is used the resulting units
may be called binary digits, or more briefly bits, a word suggested by
J. W. Tukey.
There it is, folks. Straight from the horse's mouth. ...RM