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OT, SORRY, what is "Foobar" ??

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I played half-life opposing force

and heard one of the characters said :

It is way beyond foobar !!

I can't find this word in my dictionary,

and what does foobar mean ??

this remind me Capt. Foobar, I will be

very appriciated if anyone can tell me

about that.

Merry Christmas to all !!


Sgt. Huang

I LOVE my country, but my

government sucks.

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Really? People always told me it was German.


"I can't listen to music too often... It makes me want to say kind, stupid things, and pat the heads of people... But now you have to beat them on the head, beat them without mercy."

V. I. Lenin

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Guest Warphead-

I thought "foobar" from SPR had its roots from the German word "furchtbar" (=terrible). Didn't they say it was a German word in the movie?

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Note that "Foobar" is not necessarily the same thing as "Fubar". Computer people use it as a convenient name to designate various things.

Here's few quotes from Hacker's Lexicon:


foobar n.

Another widely used metasyntactic variable; see foo for etymology. Probably originally propagated through DECsystem manuals by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1960s and early 1970s; confirmed sightings there go back to 1972. Hackers do not generally use this to mean FUBAR in either the slang or jargon sense. See also Fred Foobar. In RFC1639, "FOOBAR" was made an abbreviation for "FTP Operation Over Big Address Records", but this was an obvious backronym. It has been plausibly suggested that "foobar" spread among early computer engineers partly because of FUBAR and partly and partly because "foo bar" parses in electronics techspeak as an inverted foo signal; if a digital signal is coded so that a positive voltage or high current condition represents a "1", then a horizontal bar is commonly placed over the signal label.


And here's the corresponding entry for "foo":


foo /foo/

1. interj. Term of disgust. 2. [very common] 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.

When `foo' is used in connection with `bar' it has generally traced to the WWII-era Army slang acronym FUBAR (`****ed Up Beyond All Repair'), 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.

For, it seems, the word `foo' itself had an immediate prewar history in comic strips and cartoons. The earliest documented uses were in the "Smokey Stover" comic strip popular in the 1930s, which frequently included the word "foo". Bill Holman, the author of the strip, filled it with odd jokes and personal contrivances, including other nonsense phrases such as "Notary Sojac" and "1506 nix nix". According to the Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion Holman claimed to have found the word "foo" on the bottom of a Chinese figurine. This is plausible; Chinese statuettes often have apotropaic inscriptions, and this may have been 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"). English speakers' reception of Holman's `foo' nonsense word was undoubtedly influenced by Yiddish `feh' and English `fooey' and `fool'.

Holman's strip featured a firetruck called the Foomobile that rode on two wheels. The comic strip was tremendously popular in the late 1930s, and legend has it that a manufacturer in Indiana even produced an operable version of Holman's Foomobile. According to the Encyclopedia of American Comics, `Foo' fever swept the U.S., finding its way into popular songs and generating over 500 `Foo Clubs.' The fad left `foo' references embedded in popular culture (including a couple of appearances in Warner Brothers cartoons of 1938-39) but with their origins rapidly forgotten.

One place they are known to have remained live is in the U.S. military during the WWII years. In 1944-45, the term `foo fighters' was in use by radar operators 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). Informants connected the term to the Smokey Stover strip.

The U.S. and British militaries frequently swapped slang terms during the war (see kluge and kludge for another important example) Period sources reported that `FOO' became 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. Severals lang dictionariesaver that FOO probably came from Forward Observation Officer, but this (like the contemporaneous "FUBAR") was probably a backronym . Forty years later, Paul Dickson's excellent book "Words" (Dell, 1982, ISBN 0-440-52260-7) traced "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 sarcasm."

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. The Crumbs may also have been influenced by a short-lived Canadian parody magazine named `Foo' published in 1951-52.

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.) This definition used Bill Holman's nonsense word, only then two decades old and demonstrably still live in popular culture and slang, to a ha ha only serious analogy with esoteric Tibetan Buddhism. Today's hackers would find it difficult to resist elaborating a joke like that, and it is not likely 1959's were any less susceptible. Almost the entire staff of what later became the MIT AI Lab was involved with TMRC, and the word spread from there. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

- Tommi

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Dammit people, don't you know that it *is* German, just like Carparzo said in SPR. Even though it isn't in the dictionary.


"We're not gonna just shoot the bastards`, we're gonna cut out their living guts, and use them to grease the treads of our tanks."

"We're going to murder those lousey hun bastards by the buschel."

"The Nazis are the enemy, wade into them,

spill their blood, shoot them in the belly."

"We are not holding our position, let the hun do that."

"We are advancing constantly, we are not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy."

"We're gonna hold onto him by the nose, and we're gonna kick him in the ass."

"We're gonna kick the hell out of him all the time, and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose."--George S. Patton

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Okay, so while I digest Tss's post, here's a hypothetical situation.

Lets say that my company of infantry is under attack by a couple of Panthers. I radio for 3 M18 tank destroyers behind my lines to come and help me. However, they refuse, claiming that they lack tungsten rounds, and therefore cannot penetrate the Panther's front turret armor, and I am left on my own. Is this "Fubar," or "Foobar," and is it a good enough excuse for shooting the M18 platoon leader when I get a chance?


Well my skiff's a twenty dollar boat, And I hope to God she stays afloat.

But if somehow my skiff goes down, I'll freeze to death before I drown.

And pray my body will be found, Alaska salmon fishing, boys, Alaska salmon fishing.

-Commercial fishing in Kodiak, Alaska

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Well guys, I'm retired military, and the whole time I was in, the word was (and still is) FUBAR: F--ked up beyond all recognition. And yes, the guy in SPR did tell the clerk typist that it was German, but he was just pulling his leg.. smile.gif


Ob's stürmt oder schneit, ob die Sonne uns lacht, der Tag glühend heiß oder eiskalt die Nacht, bestaubt sind die Gesichter, doch froh ist unser sinn, ja unser sinn, es braust unser Panzer im Sturmwind dahin

-- Panzerlied

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And yes, the guy in SPR did tell the clerk typist that it was German, but he was just pulling his leg..

And it would seem that he managed to pull more legs than intended, lol. This kind of thing was/is done to most new guys, and not just in the military. My father worked in a car factory for his whole life and he told me they did this to the new guys all the time. When I was in the navy I saw it alot too. Maybe that's why I "got it" in the movie right away. Well, that and I already knew the word quite well wink.gif

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Guest Big Time Software

OK, I think the original question has been answered (and then some). I am closing this one up in hopes that either we can move on or that this discussion will sink into the Cesspool. Lord knows it could use an intellectually stimulating discussion like this to boost its rather sad existance smile.gif


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