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Re: st: the meaning of 'foo'


From   "Michael S. Hanson" <mshanson@wesleyan.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: the meaning of 'foo'
Date   Thu, 24 Aug 2006 13:36:17 -0400

On Aug 24, 2006, at 1:11 PM, Nick Winter wrote:

I'll note as well that it is often used with its companion, "bar." My guess is they derived at some point from the acronym FUBAR.

At 12:57 PM 8/24/2006, Michael S. Hanson wrote:
[snip]

        <http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/F/foo.html>
Quoting this referenced source:

"When 'foo' is used in connection with 'bar' it has generally traced to the WWII-era Army slang acronym FUBAR [snip], later modified to foobar. Early versions of the Jargon File interpreted this change as a post-war bowdlerization, but it it now seems more likely that FUBAR was itself a derivative of 'foo' perhaps influenced by German furchtbar (terrible) -- 'foobar' may actually have been the original form."

(That final "original" is in italics in the, um, original source.)


On Aug 24, 2006, at 1:23 PM, b. water wrote:


i did come across 'FUBAR' in 'Tango & Cash' but 'foo' on its own as an acronym (or so i thought...) never.
From the same source:

"Several slang dictionaries aver that FOO probably came from Forward Observation Officer, but this (like the contemporaneous "FUBAR") was probably a backronym."


Note: I provide these only as reference; I cannot vouch for their accuracy.

-- Mike


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