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  1. #1
    Linux User stokes's Avatar
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    Oct 2004

    foo bar

    Does anyone know the origin of "foo bar"? Since I started learning Linux I see it used everywhere, in examples of how to configure stuff, in man pages, etc. Does foo bar mean anything?
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  2. #2
    Just Joined! JoeB's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Elburn, Illinois
    I believe the acronym FUBAR dates back to WWII.

    Fixed Up Beyond All Repair

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer
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    Mar 2005
    Where my hat is
    Possibly before....

    A plausible explaination.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    it's actually fubar:

  6. #5
    Linux User George Harrison's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    I have heard people say foo bar and others fubar. I think that some people say foo bar is because that foo stands for X package in Linux, who knows.

    Anyhoo it's fscked up beyond all recognition
    Registered Linux user #393103

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    New York
    Foo/bar is the polite form of FUBAR; the two words are used as filler names for trivial (usually programming) examples. A similar acronym is SNAFU, Situation Normal All.. er. Fouled Up.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  8. #7
    Just Joined!
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    Aug 2005
    London, England

    Re: foo bar

    Quote Originally Posted by stokes
    Does anyone know the origin of "foo bar"?
    One alternative version, deals with a female management type from Western Electric/Bell Labs that was inspecting an installation of a telephone exchange and looked over the "log book" of the installation. She was dismayed by the profanity and reported back to higher management. The directive came down the line to clean up the comments written in the log book, which gave birth to such phrases as

    Fubar: ****ed up beyond all recognition
    Snafu: System normal, all ****ed up
    Itiwif: If this is wrong i'm ****ed

    ex-Northern Electric/Northern Telecom (pre Nortel) employee

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
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    Aug 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    "FOO" often appeared in the "Smokey Stover" comic strip by
    Bill Holman. This surrealist strip about a fireman appeared
    in various American comics including "Everybody's" between
    about 1930 and 1952. FOO was often included on licence plates
    of cars and in nonsense sayings in the background of some
    frames such as "He who foos last foos best" or "Many smoke but
    foo men chew".

    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

    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 comics.

    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

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

    Another correspondant cites the nautical construction
    "foo-foo" (or "poo-poo"), used to refer to something
    effeminate or some technical thing whose name has been
    forgotten, e.g. "foo-foo box", "foo-foo valve". This was
    common on ships by the early nineteenth century.

    Very probably, hackish "foo" had no single origin and derives
    through all these channels from Yiddish "feh" and/or English

  10. #9
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Richmond, TX
    I've always heard mixed drinks with whipped cream on top called "foo foo drinks".
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  11. #10

    Re: foo bar

    Quote Originally Posted by greengrass
    Quote Originally Posted by stokes
    Does anyone know the origin of "foo bar"?
    Itiwif: If this is wrong i'm ****ed
    wow lern somthing new i see that in code alot
    All i want for christmas is a new liver....a second chance to get afflicted with Cirrhosis

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