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I'm using gvim version 7.4.205 for Windows, if that matters.

If I type :help :bp, it shows the help for :bN and :bp:

:[N]bN[ext][!] [N]          *:bN* *:bNext* *:bp* *:bprevious* *E88*
:[N]bp[revious][!] [N]
        Go to [N]th previous buffer in buffer list.  [N] defaults to
        one.  Wraps around the start of the buffer list.
        See |:buffer-!| for [!] and 'switchbuf'.

What's that *E88* in the top right of the entry?

Screenshot:

E88 is circled in a screenshot of the help for <code>:bp</code>

6

They are error codes.

If you do something wrong and Vim gives you an error code you can search the documentation for its meaning.

Some common ones are listed and explained under :help error-messages but most are scattered around the documentation, generally close to the commands that would cause that error.

Some errors like this one are pretty cryptic, though. I have no idea how anything would go wrong with this particular command which wraps around the buffer list and doesn't care at all about the arguments it receives.

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    Thanks! github.com/vim/vim/blob/… says EMSG(_("E88: Cannot go before first buffer"));, inside if (buf == NULL) /* could not find it */ so it seems to be error handling code in case the wrap around failed somehow. Sep 14 '15 at 22:01

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