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Thread: What is Foo?

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    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    What is Foo?

    Just wondering, I've never seen this word/phrase before?

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Well, a lot of times, it's sort of an abbreviation for fubar (pronounced foobar)... not BFs own Matt, but a military acronym for "fouled up beyond all recognition." Not sure if the first word is really "fouled," or some other appropriate f-word.

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    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    I couldnt come up with a good name for an off-topic forum. I stole this one from WebmasterWorld.com... Any ideas for a better name?

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Can I go off topic in a thread for off topic discussions? The other "foo" acronym: Snafu.

    Situation Normal, All Fouled Up

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgesnatcher
    Just wondering, I've never seen this word/phrase before?
    There are many references and definitions of the word "foo". Also, if you have ever looked at source code, example code, random example configurations for various computer/networking "thingies" (yet another officially accepted computer terminology), you will find many uses of "foo". From the Hacker's Dictionary:

    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 (`****ed Up Beyond All Repair'), later bowdlerized to foobar. (See also FUBAR.)

    However, the use of the word `foo' itself has more complicated 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, ISBN 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 sarcasm."

    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 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 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 `fooey'.

    foobar /n./

    Another common metasyntactic variable; see foo. Hackers do not generally use this to mean FUBAR in either the slang or jargon sense.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    That's it! No more dictionary.com for you man.

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    Chi
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    I like "Foo." Let's keep it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi
    I like "Foo." Let's keep it.
    Me too, but I'm biased... one of my business names is FooSoftware

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    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to say but we starting to look like Pinkbike.com with all the pictures in the signature. It is so distracting.

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    Chi
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    I think you can configure the boards to not display the sigs.

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    Junior Member mister boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgesnatcher
    Just wondering, I've never seen this word/phrase before?
    <MR. T>"I Pity the Foo"</MR. T>

  12. #12
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    Well, in Harry Potter, they use foo powder to travel through the fireplace....



    Seriously! It's in the books!

    Koffee

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    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    foo for foolery..
    Booyah!!

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    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    Well, in Harry Potter, they use foo powder to travel through the fireplace....



    Seriously! It's in the books!

    Koffee
    The term is 'floo powder'.
    "Ignorance begets confidence more frequently than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin


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    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    As a point of interest: foo has two other companions, blat and bletch that are less commonly used.

    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgesnatcher
    Just wondering, I've never seen this word/phrase before?
    I'm not sure, but I do know there is an organized group that opposes it. Anyone else ever hear of the Foo Fighters?
    "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  17. #17
    Hollowpoint Expert Rider flaming_burrito's Avatar
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    i've always understood it as a name to fill in blanks, like, "find file _____" (with foo filling in the blank) or as what it's being used for here, just a name for ANYTHING
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    Flatman RoadToad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Gardner
    Any ideas for a better name?
    Oh no Joe, you can't change it now!

    RT
    BRING THE HEAT

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    Quadricepius Exquisitus eurotrash666's Avatar
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    There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, foo me once -- shame on -- shame on you. You foo me, you can't get fooed again.
    -- George W. Bush, Nashville, Tennessee, Sep. 17, 2002

  20. #20
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekRider
    I'm not sure, but I do know there is an organized group that opposes it. Anyone else ever hear of the Foo Fighters?
    Heh. Foo Fighters...

    http://www.unmuseum.org/foo.htm

  21. #21
    Senior Member East Coast Mojo's Avatar
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    I thought it was cause it rhymed with Poo, as in "fling it".

    ;D
    If it ain't mojo, it's worthless!

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    Senior Member CycleFreakLS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    Not sure if the first word is really "fouled," or some other appropriate f-word.
    Well ... when software engineers look at somebody else's code and say ... this junk is fubar ... they don't mean "fouled". Trust me on this one.

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