[ LUGOS ] [Off-Topic] But still linux...

Matija Grabnar matija.grabnar na k2.net
Pet Maj 16 10:02:52 CEST 1997

Ales Horvat wrote:
> David Klasinc wrote:
> > Pa v cem je fora tega foo-ja?!!??! pa foobar?!?! Mislim vse kar je
> > Linux-something ma en foo kje vmes... Mislim noro :)))))))
> foobar mislim da je derivat iz fubar, kar pomeni F*cked Up Beyond Any
> Repair.
> Bye,
>         A.
Poglejte si Hacker's dictionary (ne morem verjeti, da ga folk tukaj
ne pozna...)

na http://www.tpconsultants.com/tnhd/

                 foo - /foo/

                      1. /interj./ Term of disgust. 2. Used very
generally as a sample name for
                      absolutely anything, esp. programs and files (esp.
scratch files). 3. First
                      on the standard list of metasyntactic variables
used in syntax examples.
                      See also bar, baz, qux, quux, corge, grault,
garply, waldo, fred, plugh,
                      xyzzy, thud. 

                      The etymology of hackish `foo' is obscure. When
used in connection
                      with `bar' it is generally traced to the WWII-era
Army slang acronym
                      FUBAR (`Fucked Up Beyond All Repair'), later
bowdlerized to foobar.
                      (See also FUBAR.) 

                      However, the use of the word `foo' itself has more
                      antecedents, including a long history in comic
strips and cartoons. The
                      old "Smokey Stover" comic strips by Bill Holman
often included the
                      word `FOO', in particular on license plates of
cars; allegedly, `FOO' and
                      `BAR' also occurred in Walt Kelly's "Pogo" strips.
In the 1938 cartoon
                      "The Daffy Doc", a very early version of Daffy
Duck holds up a sign
                      saying "SILENCE IS FOO!"; oddly, this seems to
refer to some
                      approving or positive affirmative use of foo. It
has been suggested that
                      this might be related to the Chinese word `fu'
(sometimes transliterated
                      `foo'), which can mean "happiness" when spoken
with the proper tone
                      (the lion-dog guardians flanking the steps of many
Chinese restaurants
                      are properly called "fu dogs"). 

                      Paul Dickson's excellent book "Words" (Dell, 1982,
                      0-440-52260-7) traces "Foo" to an unspecified
British naval magazine
                      in 1946, quoting as follows: "Mr. Foo is a
mysterious Second World War
                      product, gifted with bitter omniscience and

                      Other sources confirm that `FOO' was a
semi-legendary subject of
                      WWII British-army graffiti more-or-less equivalent
to the American
                      Kilroy. Where British troops went, the graffito
"FOO was here" or
                      something similar showed up. Several slang
dictionaries aver that FOO
                      probably came from Forward Observation Officer. In
this connection,
                      the later American military slang `foo fighters'
is interesting; at least as
                      far back as the 1950s, radar operators used it for
the kind of mysterious
                      or spurious trace that would later be called a UFO
(the older term
                      resurfaced in popular American usage in 1995 via
the name of one of
                      the better grunge-rock bands). 

                      Earlier versions of this entry suggested the
possibility that hacker usage
                      actually sprang from "FOO, Lampoons and Parody",
the title of a comic
                      book first issued in September 1958, a joint
project of Charles and
                      Robert Crumb. Though Robert Crumb (then in his
mid-teens) later
                      became one of the most important and influential
artists in underground
                      comics, this venture was hardly a success; indeed,
the brothers later
                      burned most of the existing copies in disgust. The
title FOO was
                      featured in large letters on the front cover.
However, very few copies of
                      this comic actually circulated, and students of
Crumb's `oeuvre' have
                      established that this title was a reference to the
earlier Smokey Stover

                      An old-time member reports that in the 1959
"Dictionary of the TMRC
                      Language", compiled at TMRC, there was an entry
that went
                      something like this: 

                          FOO: The first syllable of the sacred chant
phrase "FOO
                          MANE PADME HUM." Our first obligation is to
keep the
                          foo counters turning. 

                      For more about the legendary foo counters, see
TMRC. Almost the
                      entire staff of what later became the MIT AI Lab
was involved with
                      TMRC, and probably picked the word up there. 

                      Very probably, hackish `foo' had no single origin
and derives through all
                      these channels from Yiddish `feh' and/or English
"My name is Not Important. Not to friends. 
    But you can call me mr. Important"  - Not J. Important 
Matija.Grabnar na k2.net, webmaster na k2.net      A Slovenian and an Atarian
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