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See also: Foo, fo'o, and foo'



Etymology 1[edit]

An irregular romanization of Chinese ‎()


foo ‎(plural foos)

  1. (historical, obsolete) Alternative form of fu: an administrative subdivision of imperial China; the capital of such divisions.

Etymology 2[edit]

foo is presumably based on the fu character (fú, 福)

From Chinese ‎(, fortunate; prosperity, good luck), via its use as 福星 ‎(Fúxīng, Jupiter) in Chinese statues of the Three Lucky Stars, picked up from c. 1935 as a nonsense word in Bill Holman's Smokey Stover comic strip,[1][2][3] whence it was picked up by Pogo, Looney Tunes, and others. Used by Jack Speer as the fannish ghod of mimeography. Popularized in computing contexts by the Tech Model Railroad Club's 1959 Dictionary of the TMRC Language, which incorporated it into a parody of the Hindu chant om mani padme hum,[1] possibly under the influence of WWII military slang fubar, which had been repopularized by Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

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foo ‎(uncountable)

  1. (science fiction) Alternative letter-case form of Foo, as a generic mock or placeholder god.
  2. (programming) A metasyntactic variable used to represent an unspecified entity. If part of a series of such entities, it is often the first in the series, and followed immediately by bar.
    Suppose we have two objects, foo and bar.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

A minced form of fuck.



  1. Expression of disappointment or disgust.
    Oh foo – the cake burnt!

Etymology 4[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


foo ‎(plural foos)

  1. (slang) Eye dialect spelling of fool.



  1. 1.0 1.1 foo”, The Jargon File
  2. ^ "The History of Bill Holman",, Smokey Stover LLC – article by nephew of Bill Holman
  3. ^ "Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion"

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


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foo (plural foos)

  1. foe




  1. to stink