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foo bar and baz!

by BBQ (Deacon)
on Apr 26, 2000 at 22:31 UTC ( #9288=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Pinky, I was pondering on the words 'foo','bar' and 'baz', and it occured to me... Where did these come from? Is it an american thing? Is it animal, mineral, or vegetable?

Does anyone know why we always use these three as examples?

Cheers!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: foo bar and baz!
by btrott (Parson) on Apr 26, 2000 at 22:37 UTC
      Would simply add to the FUBAR possibilities for FOO that the French word for crazy (fou, pronounced 'FOO') can also be used in the sense of "Je m'en fous" meaning "I could care less" (as in "it could be anything"), which isn't a bad name for a variable? Hein?
      Cool page! Bookmarked... thanks for the input!

      #!/home/bbq/bin/perl
      # Trust no1!
RE: foo bar and baz!
by lhoward (Vicar) on Jul 08, 2000 at 16:46 UTC
    Probably the best resource for learning about words like foo, bar, and baz is the Jargon File (available in print as The New Hackers Dictionary). To take a brief excerpt about from the "foo" entry (the complete entry for foo runs over 2 pages):
    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.
    The Jargon file goes on from there to list several possible origins including:
    • derivitive of the WWII-era Army slang acronym FUBAR
    • earliest documented uses were in the "Smokey Stover" comic strip popular in the 1930s, which frequently included the word "foo".
    • 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.
    • FOO: The first syllable of the sacred chant phrase "FOO MANE PADME HUM." Our first obligation is to keep the foo counters turning.
    The Jargon File/New Hackers Dictionary is quite a good read. I never let my copy stray too far from my side.
RE: foo bar and baz! (ftp operation over big address records)
by ybiC (Prior) on Jul 08, 2000 at 17:14 UTC
    For yet another FOOBAR explanation, point your browser at RFC1639 for the 1994 FTP Operation Over Big Address Records specification. Tongue-in-cheek humor from a late night beer meeting is my guess.
RE: foo bar and baz!
by wonko (Pilgrim) on Apr 27, 2000 at 12:38 UTC
    One thing I've heard about 'foo' and 'bar' is that Turing used them as variable names when he cracked the German Enigma code during WWII...

    Have anybody else heard this?

    /wonko

      No... thats interesting. Where did you learn that?

        Well, I asked somebody at school, I wondered just like BBQ where 'foo' and 'bar', he told me that and also told me about 'FUBAR'.

        Foobar is by the way the name of our student union pub, I guess it's a rather common name for such places at computer science universities

        A computer book, I don't remember which, talked abt the phenomena and mentioned foobar and fubar as two different acronyms. The author wrote that the popularity of foobar depended to some extent to the similarity to fubar.

        I wonder one thing though; what is 'baz'? : )

        /wonko
RE: foo bar and baz!
by redmist (Deacon) on Jul 08, 2000 at 11:54 UTC
    Is it an American thing? I don't know about foo and bar and foobar, but the word wibble (as in wibble dot foo dot com) came from England.

    redmist
RE: foo bar and baz!
by cciulla (Friar) on Apr 27, 2000 at 20:53 UTC
    I was under the impression that the acronym FUBAR was the source of the variables "foo" and "bar" (see btrott's link above).

    Perhaps an extention to this would be "sna" from SNAFU.

RE: foo bar and baz!
by Anonymous Monk on May 21, 2000 at 00:00 UTC
    http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/html/entry/metasyntactic-variable.html

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