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what does foo mean?


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#1 OFFLINE   cybormoron

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 07:58 PM

i see this word used a lot in various contexts but i can't find out what it is. i just saw foomatic being installed while configuring my printer. i see it used in tutorials describing example files. what the heck is a foo? is this some urban slang as in "i pity the foo"? is it an acromyn? where does this word come from and why is it used around linux?
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#2 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:49 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo
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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:52 PM

View Postcybormoron, on Jun 6 2008, 07:58 PM, said:

i see this word used a lot in various contexts but i can't find out what it is. i just saw foomatic being installed while configuring my printer. i see it used in tutorials describing example files. what the heck is a foo? is this some urban slang as in "i pity the foo"? is it an acromyn? where does this word come from and why is it used around linux?
I've seen it used as a word that can stand for anything - /home/ray/photo/foo.jpg would be an example file in my photo directory. Or /etc/interfaces/foo.conffoo was a nonsense word often used in the old Smokey Stover comic strip - it's claimed to mean "Good Luck" in Chinese. ????


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#4 OFFLINE   cybormoron

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:13 PM

thanks guys, that explains it to my satisfaction. i didn't even think of searching wikipedia. i seem to remember googling once before but didn't find anything, now it's right there on top.
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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 11:54 PM

See also foo fighter. :thumbsup:

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#6 OFFLINE   jimg

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 12:27 AM

Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foobar and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FUBAR. In the urban context, it's probably just short for fool.

#7 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:33 AM

I agree. I think jimg has it nailed. Probably it originated around or prior to WWII. "Foo" is just a cleaned up, more modern adaptation, but very mild and bearing little resemblance to the original acronym.BTW I noted with sad interest the true meaning of "fubar bundy" in the wikipedia reference to fubar, and I speculate that there is some connection to the Al Bundy character in the American TV series "Married With Children". Now there was a miserable SO... well, you know... ;)  B)

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In the urban context, it's probably just short for fool.
Indeed, and in the computer world, nothing more than a nonsense word these days- a 'placeholder'. Foomatic printer configurator indeed. I swear, there must be little robots in there, Martha... ;)

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 07 June 2008 - 03:39 AM.

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#8 OFFLINE   PaiPimenta

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:20 AM

I've always been a strong believer in the "File or Object" origins of foo, especially in my readings that "UNIX doesn't distinguish between a file and a device", making binary information from a "File Or device (Ojbect)" the same FOO to manipulate.Any comments or support for this theory from others?

Edited by PaiPimenta, 11 September 2008 - 10:21 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:07 AM

View PostPaiPimenta, on Sep 11 2008, 07:20 AM, said:

I've always been a strong believer in the "File or Object" origins of foo, especially in my readings that "UNIX doesn't distinguish between a file and a device", making binary information from a "File Or device (Ojbect)" the same FOO to manipulate.Any comments or support for this theory from others?
way back I heard it was File Or Output
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#10 OFFLINE   thecdn

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

FOO - Forward Observation Officer  - Canadian Army term for an Artillery Officer attached to an armour/infantry group to call in artillery fire for them.

#11 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:08 AM

FUBAR is also an old army acronym meaning F----d Up Beyond All Recovery, excuse the bleeped French language. :)In computer terms, foo just usually means an example, along with it's cousin bar.
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#12 OFFLINE   trigggl

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:31 AM

What is Foo Bar?  Who is John Doe?On a related note, I've been told that "snafu" is an acronym for Situation Normal All F# Up, which may or may not be true.  Who the foo bar?  Certainly not this John Doe?
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#13 OFFLINE   cybormoron

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:54 PM

well i must say this thread has enrichened my vocabulary immensely.http://roflrazzi.com...i-pity-the-foo/
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#14 OFFLINE   striker

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:36 PM

Fu yong hai ... yummie yummie (the chinese word for foo)
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