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What does FOO stand for?  RSS feed

 
Ranch Hand
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I've seen that many books use the word foo to represent many examples. I wonder what the word foo default by means, or do not mean anything.

Thank you in advance.
 
lowercase baba
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I believe it comes from the term "FUBAR", which is a common term for "F***ed Up Beyond All Repair".

it is pronounced as "foobar", and i guess just evolved into the two common methods of "foo" and "bar"
 
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I think it's from the second world war when the germans used to say "Furchbar" meaning terrible and awful.
The americans understood foo bar and somehow it became a trend.
 
Rancher
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Rancher
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foo, bar, baz, plugh, xyzzy, etc. are all metasyntactic variables. (Although the Wikipedia article, inexplicably, has an entry for xyzzy and not plugh.)
 
Milton Ochoa
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Thank you for the aclaration!
 
Rancher
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While this has some meaning, its more a candidate for MD.

David Newton wrote:foo, bar, baz, plugh, xyzzy, etc. are all metasyntactic variables. (Although the Wikipedia article, inexplicably, has an entry for xyzzy and not plugh.)


For sure. While the Wikipedia article mentions foo, and cites Don Eastlake's April Fools RFC, even that shorts the history. See the Jargon file, I've got put a fairly old copy (~vintage early 80s) at http://pfarrell.com/technotes/jarg1-81-MM-DD.txt

Its all out of MIT, which spun off most of (many?) the 60s and 70s computer companies near Boston. DEC (aka Digital Equipment) was home to a lot of serious hardware used for critical development of operating systems, so many of the folks at DEC were from MIT, bringing 'foo' and "bar" with them. Clearly the original meaning was from the Army's fubar, and its likely that many of the pioneers were GI Bill army folks at MIT, Harvard, UMass, and other Boston schools. Most of the early uses in the computer field used "foo", "bar" and "baz". in various combinations.

Interestingly that the Wikipedia article also fails to make the obvious jump into business schools, where nearly all cases talk about making Widgets, or Widget Corp. which are similarly metasyntactic nouns.
 
Rancher
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this question was asked before in another forum!
 
Sheriff
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Monu Tripathi wrote:this question was asked before in another forum!

Should we have an FAQ entry for it?
 
David Newton
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Mmm, the jargon file brings back *so* many memories.
 
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