Snafu… what exactly does it mean?   And where did it come from?

There is some profanity in this lesson, so, not for the kids if that concerns you.

Here is a funny old movie with the word sanfu and booby trap (two words/phrases that I have done).

Thanks prospero811 for pointing it out :-)


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370 Responses to Snafu

  1. Anonymous says:

    awesome cartoon !*

  2. Anonymous says:

    nous deux!.

  3. PageDoll says:

    I got a bad feelin’…something is off, discombobulated
    Something is happening…
    There’s a disturbance in the force.
    Nothing would make me feel better than knowing I’m wrong.

  4. PageDoll says:

    Ya, I’m pretty sure this is ONE of my all time favorite lessons.
    Sweet Madam Blue eyes.

  5. PageDoll says:

    I hear ya @VenomRock, I love the older vids. :smile:

  6. MtnDood says:

    Oh no!! My eyes are hurting…. I’ve been watching every video first to last! Only half done… Keep making more so I can go blind!! (On second thought just make more please!!) :mrgreen:

  7. whitetrashlou says:

    F.U.B.A.R. = “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition”

  8. tjhbob says:

    Would your acronym be “fubar” or f***ed up beyond any repair?

  9. moscht says:

    Yes FUBAR…fu..ed up beyond all recognition.

    This origined from GI’s fighting in Germany during second World War 2. They heard the Krauts say “Furchtbar” very often, which means as much as CRUEL.
    And because Americans weren’t very skilled and talented in german language they said the word incorrectly and this sounded like “FUBAR”…and because this soldiers didn’t know the right meaning they just sais that from now on it should be a shortening.

    I hope you did understand me, because i am not very talented in english language either^^

  10. leonard says:

    Free Milk—Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free? This was my random lesson and until the next one peace out :razz:

  11. craigs_70345 says:

    The word in question is “FUBAR” F***ed up beyound all reason. or
    F***ed up beyond all repair. Whishever one you prefer.

  12. adamseye says:

    FUBAR I have been there many nights!

  13. stupuff says:

    The Word you’re talking about is FUBAR. Fucked Up Beyond All Repair. and the Canadian Army Strikes again.

  14. captainjack says:

    Ok now the reply boxes are working now. Hummmm… strange…

  15. captainjack says:

    Ok this page is really messed up. Big time FUBAR!!!!!!

  16. captainjack says:

    Marina, The Reply is not working. I reloaded and still the server refuses to post replies on this blog page. :sad:

  17. captainjack says:

    Bobsully, Thats what I thought it was until I watched the video then I noticed it changed from what I remembered it to be. Its not the same video as before. The video was uploaded on May 10th. Notice our comments started on April 28th. So what was changed? Two things. Can you find them??? :?: :?: :?:

  18. capman911 says:

    I miss the rating stars :sad: :cry:

  19. bobsully says:

    reruns? Is it Summer already?

    • captainjack says:

      Thats what I thought! :shock: But when I watched it I notice something different. Its a new video. Check the upload date on YouTube. :???: Also the video has a few changes in it. Watch it again as see if you notice what she changed. :mrgreen: I noticed two of them.

    • captainjack says:

      Thats what I thought it was until I watched the video then I noticed it changed from what I remembered it to be. Its not the same video as before. The video was uploaded on May 10th. Notice our comments started on April 28th. So what was changed? Two things. Can you find them??? :?: :?: :?:

  20. admles says:

    Another great video, oh teacher of mine.

    I had a question for you – What is the proper usage of WHOM versus usage of WHO?

    When do you use which one, and why?

  21. lostinhere says:

    I have two potential answers:

    WTF – What the fuck?!
    FUBAR – Fucked up beyond all recognition

  22. stokesjrj1 says:

    I’m going to go back to bed now

  23. stokesjrj1 says:

    scientists thieving bastards but only after he decides to let them have it.

  24. pagedoll says:

    I love that one…now, “Shut the f*** off” JK!! :lol:

  25. bosscelt says:

    Hmm….also FIGMOH.

  26. bosscelt says:

    FUBAR…but how about Spiro Agnew. Not the Vice-President under Nixon, but the military term. Or Charlie Foxtrot….

  27. sniperskaya says:

    Marina, why do we never get to see your sister? Is she your evil, raven haired twin? Was she horribly disfigured in the plane crash? Did her air bags pop? Does she hold the secret to where the family jewels are laid? Are you Siamese, er, Russian twins who were seperated at birth? Will she ever be able to play the piano again? Or do you simply suffer from a split personality, like that nice young fellow Norman, who ran the Bates Motel just off the main highway??? So many questions, so little time…

  28. sniperskaya says:

    Marina, I think you should explain “booby trap”, lol. I always thought it was the hook and loop system that they put in the back of bras (and just when you got used to that they moved it to the front!). Great old cartoon, BTW. Mel Blanc doing Bugs Bunny’s voice as the soldier. Probably meant for the troops being shipped to North Africa at the time from the desert environment… The Great Patriotic War aka WW2.

  29. sniperskaya says:

    like FUBAR and BOHICA

  30. annuddermale says:

    yep, FUBAR it is…

    Marina, your sister is hawt… :mrgreen:

  31. colvin says:

    my girlfriend wants to know where’s the woman’s version of Hot for words?

  32. Warren says:

    I think this is FUBAR.
    I’m getting confused.

  33. tlndofa says:

    Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition ,
    Tango and Cash – movie…means what it says,nothing else ….thats its place

  34. John says:

    We all figured out that the word is FUBAR. One of my all time favorites is used to describe someone who likes to toot his/her own horn: FIGJAM. That acronym means: Fuck I’m Great, Just Ask Me.

    Good day all!

  35. donfelipegonzales says:

    Dear teacher
    the new addenda was great. Thank you for the piece of old time american cartoon.
    Don Felipe

  36. oldnslow says:


  37. biagini2 says:

    Snafu: Man that an old cartoon. Never seen it before. You probably had to see it in a movie theather during WWII because of the “sex stuff”. It’s Mel Blanc for sure! :wink:

  38. mrchex says:

    correction: FUBAR fucked up beyond all recognition

  39. mrchex says:

    FUBAR f*d up beyond all recognition. *bows*

  40. franze says:


    May be: FUCK = ‘Fornication Under Consent of the King’

  41. ags429 says:

    Hello Marina,

    In the military we use the term “FUBR”, Fucked Up Beyond Recognition…I hope this the answer you’re looking for!

  42. gregory g mcbride says:

    - So messed up beyond repair –
    irreparable – irreversible – irretrievable – severe – lasting – irrevocable – irremediable – irredeameable – uncorrectable -unsalvageable
    - Botched up -
    substandard – poor – spoiled – ruined – bungled – slipshod – inferior

    This is what I conjured up I hope that it will increase my grade if not please feel free to state a battle of words just is or isn’t the game for ye’

  43. wordlover says:

    Another interesting thing is the “up” in “snafu” and “fuck up”. I’m guessing that the situation must be either standing up or riding on top…

  44. bobsully says:

    I will use “SNAFU” much more often now! :grin:

  45. roachmeistercom says:

    I guess that’s Buggs Bunny’s voice prior to being associated with Buggs.

    How bee-zaaarree!

    • prospero811 says:

      A lot of the guys associated with the SNAFU cartoons were also associated with Bugs Bunny and the rest. Mel Blanc – Fritz Frehling et al.

  46. jacread says:

    fuck’d up beyond all reason FUBAR
    fuck’d up more than usual FUMTU

  47. forrest says:

    Hi, fubar is the word your looking for. Another great acronym the military gave us is BOHICA, Bend Over Here It Comes Again….lol.

    Thanks Forrest

  48. cwnerd12 says:

    My granddad was a fighter pilot in the South Pacific in ww2, and his plane was called the “Miss Snafu” XD

  49. acethebathound says:

    The acronym FUBAR stands for Fucked up Beyond All Repair…

  50. mking3 says:

    What is the meaning and the origin of the word “boondoggle”. In Canada at least, they use this word when talking about government. I almost don’t believe it’s a real word, it might just be something that stupid politicians and reporters started saying one day :P

    • wordlover says:

      Looka hya, mking3.

      • mking3 says:

        boondoggle Look up boondoggle at
        1935, Amer.Eng., of uncertain origin, popularized during the New Deal as a contemptuous word for make-work projects for the unemployed. Said to have been a pioneer word for “gadget.”

        Thanks for the definition. This doesn’t seem to be the context in which it is used in the media. On the news and in Parliament, it is used in a very negative way, usually when the government is being accused of having screwed something up, such as a gun registry program that was supposed to cost $1million but balloon to a cost of $1billion.

        Is the media using this word in the wrong way, has the meaning changed?

      • wordlover says:

        Who knows? :roll:

        The media is(/are) nuts! :razz:

    • mdelisa says:


      I know it is a little difficult to track down etymologies of slang expressions, but I am hoping you can help in this case, as my research has come to a dead end. I write a lot about the sport of boxing and run a website and am constantly asked the origin of the following two words that are used in boxing:

      Tomato Can

      both mean essentially the same thing — a lousy fighter.

      Palooka was taken by Ham Fisher for his “Joe Palooka” comic strip, but it existed certainly as early as 1923. I have narrowed it down to two theories (both might be wrong) — Palooka was a dance during the Roaring 20s similar to the Charleston. Or, it was simply created by a sportswriter Frank G. Menke circa 1923.

      As far as Tomato Can — I don’t have much beyond theory — urban children used to play a game called kick the can (guess the rules!). I suspect Tomato Can was applied to a fighter who usually got “kicked around.”

      Help me teacher! And if you need me to send any sources for my prior research just let me know. I think you could deal with these in one knockout of a video! (Yes, lame pun intended).

      • wordlover says:

        FWIW, you could check out “tomato can” here.

      • mdelisa says:

        Wordlover — the wiki is totally useless as to the history of the word– and the guess at the underlying meaning (One characteristic which may account for the use of the “tomato can” metaphor for a bad boxer is the tendency to leak red fluid (tomato juice/blood) when battered) is the first time I have heard that! But thanks for the post — it proves once again how lame the wiki stuff can be.

        Hopefully teacher can shed some light on the origin of these synonyms.

      • wordlover says:

        Wiki has some good shit, though; that is, if you can look past the NPOV¹ policy. I’ve done some work there and continue to. WP² gets a bad rap because it is frequently vandalised. For example, someone dissed John Siegenthaler in the wiki article and he must’ve got his revenge one way or another. In short, there are over a million articles, not all of them suck, y’know!

        ¹Neutral Point Of View.

  51. illuminator says:

    Word Request: Shoplift

  52. to_81fan says:

    i have a request for the phrase “to be frank.” wht do people say this when they aren’t frank? is there some famous frank guy that everyone wants to be?
    thank you

  53. spikyboy says:

    @#%! ! oh!cool! :roll: @#%! hugh thats fine! :wink:

    situation normal,
    all @#%!ed up.


  54. cimska says:

    I have a request for the word Dopamine

  55. hutchiee says:

    FUBAR. For computer systems, most of the demo or learning material usually uses Fubar as the name of a program or object or sample.

  56. georgeadams says:


    The other acronym is FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition)



  57. bibul says:

    I recognize that I did not know this word (Yes, i know, one more). I’m really happy to learn a lot of expression on your site.

    It’s funny because, here in France SNAFU was the name of an association of students “Super Neurones Associés pour la Finance Universelle. ” It means something like “Super Associated Neurons for Universal Finance”.

    Just for kidding, (but it’s true).

    Kisses from France…


  58. matalexwolf says:

    Out on Sunday with some family and got thinking about the word, family.

    (F)ather (A)nd (M)other (I) (L)ove (Y)ou.


  59. joel says:

    I don’t know what an infidel is. I asked soo many people, but they don’t know what it means. :cry: So I thought it would be a good wordrequest. :wink:

  60. linnut man says:

    Word Request:

    I was at a large retail hardware/garden center recently and it to brought to mind something that has always troubled me.

    Why are “annuals” plants which only last one season and “perennials” listed as those who return year after year?

    I though “annual” meant every year, as in The 12th Annual Webby Awards. (for which this site should be a nominee :grin: )

    What’s up with that?

    Thank you,


  61. captainjack says:

    –Origin of SOS–

    Excerpt from
    The Telegraph Office Magazine
    Volume II, Issue 1
    “‘SOS,’ ‘CQD’ and the History of Maritime Distress Calls”
    by Neal McEwen, K5RW

    ] Mystery, intrigue as well as misinformation surrounds the origin and use of maritime distress calls. The general populace believes that “SOS” signifies “Save Our Ship.” Casual students of radio history are aware that “CQD” preceded the use of “SOS.” Why were these signals adopted? When were they used? Why did one replace the other? What is one likely to find by digging a little deeper? [

    ]The first recorded American use of “SOS” was in August of 1909. Wireless operator T. D. Haubner of the SS Arapahoe radioed for help when his ship lost its screw near Diamond Shoals, sometimes called the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.[

    ]It is well documented in personal accounts of Harold Bride, second Radio Officer, and in the logs of the SS Carpathia, that the Titanic first used “CQD” to call for help. When Captain Smith gave the order to radio for help, first radio officer Jack Phillips sent “CQD” six times followed by the Titanic call letters, “MGY.” Later, at Brides suggestion, Phillips interspersed his calls with “SOS.”
    Not the Titanic as everyone believes.

    To save space on HFW blog please read the whole store at:

    Yea its a long article but if you keep reading you will find out that ‘XXX’ was used as an urgent signal. I wonder if there is a link to the movie rating X,XX,XXX?
    May Day, Pan Pan, Sécurité are still used today. Morse code is no longer used.


  62. lostinhere says:

    I am an Army Reservist currently seeing the world using the Uncle Sam travel agency. The other commonly used acronym is FUBAR, as stated above. There is another one: BOHICA, pronounced “bo-he-ka”. What it means is below.

    Can any guess, or tell, where the phrase “spring loaded in the dumb position” came from. A hint is: ask a rotorhead. :wink:


    PS: BOHICA – Bend Over, Here It Comes Again (we’re screwed!)

    • Bob says:

      Some functions or systems in an aircraft that have a critical effect on the aircraft’s behaviour are protected by a spring-loaded switch which has to be held against the spring’s force to arm or enable their use.
      However, as a lifelong rotorhead, I can’t think why this should particularly apply to helicopters unless it has something to do with the sloppy link between the cyclic and the collective controls.
      (Don’t worry if you don’t understand the sloppy link joke; it’s a technical reference only the smartest rotorheads will understand)

      • Bob says:

        For a very funny list of other terms for stupidity go to this site.

      • captainjack says:

        I never heard of the term sloppy link before. But im still new in the field of that spiny thing over head. I fly RC helis and my models have sloppy links in the control rods to my fly bar.

        I still believe in the very old saying that helicopters can not fly, they just beat the air into submission. Oh and yet they can out glide an F-4 phantom any day of the week.


      • Bob says:

        You’ve got it, Jack; a sloppy link is a mechanism used for translating a control input into a hydraulic output. There is no such link between the cyclic and collective in the helicopter’s hardware; the reference is to the pilot’s hands. :lol:

      • BillyB says:

        Hey Bob, I’m mostly a happy guy, I work hard, am thankful my wife has put up with me 25yrs… thats love.
        “Love” The word is hard to define without context, so sorry if you got me or CS Lewis quote misunderstood but that happems alot I find in written communication, especially when space & time limit context.
        The 4 loves simply put, can be confused & redifined into many subcategories….ah it’s too complicated. Somebody more famious than me said “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” Nice simple statement, explored, studied, rumminated upon, embraced… for centuries. i love reading the quotes that pop up on this site. Random or Marina picks? anybodies guess eh. cheers
        PS best advise I ever got “Be tender hearted and thick skinned”

  63. fonzie62 says:

    Word request: LOLLAPALOOSA I think this is one fucked up word and i would like you to tell me where it came from lol

  64. marmanalade says:

    Word request: fiasco

  65. stokesjrj1 says:

    Marina, here is a good word to philologize on “inklings”. Oh i got too work tomorrow . Bye

  66. tonykata says:

    WORD REQUEST: Luxury
    Hi Marina, Hi All. I wish to know the origin of word Luxury because it is strange: Luxury is the word used to describe the best style of life, super cars, yatch, armani, versace etc… but “Lux-” is a latin word that means light. Why is there this association between these words?
    In italian language Luxury is Lusso and Lust is Lussuria, they have same origin “Luss-”, is there another association between Lusso and Lussuria?

  67. zabriel says:


    Fucked up beyond all recognition (relief, repair)

  68. d-bo says:

    Hey Marina,
    My roomate and I were debating the origin of the phrase “rubber match”. this refers to having a third match between two people if they each won one of the first two matches. Or a best out of three concept. Please tell us where this phrase came from. thanks, I love your lessons.


  69. bloodyjackall says:

    Word request: “malaise”

  70. nyagwaispiritbear says:

    That was tooooooooooo easy…………FUBAR Fucked up beyond repair!!!!!!!! LMAO

  71. humblefred49 says:

    Оно изумительный что большая смотря и говоря русская повелительница smogла быть настолько полезна к гуманности в этих день и время. Я салютую вам. Простите моему плохому русскому, но я пытаюсь улучшить на том больше. Вы воодушевляли меня выполнить более лучше и стать более лучшей персоной. Пожалуйста держите вверх по хорошему слову.

    Я также имею один запрос для слов.
    «lethologica», пожалуйста расшифровывает для меня начало и причиняет этому явления. Спасибо и объятия и поцелуи… Фред

  72. dastheboss2 says:

    I actually know this one its FUBAR Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

  73. koalabear says:

    Hi teach

    A “great tit” is a bird found in Africa.
    A female friend has a number of these birds in her avery.
    When I said that she had “great tits” she slapped me.
    Was she offended by my grammar???

    Maybe HFW should investigate?
    Why does the bird – “great tit” have nothing to do with “t.ts” or “titillate”.

    lots of love
    from australia.

  74. loveforu says:

    Hello Marina,
    How’s it going my favorite teacher!! :razz:
    Hey I’m a new student here, and I was wondering what do I need to do to become the “Teacher’s pat for the day”?
    Oh and my word request is “Love”
    What’s origin of the word “Love”

  75. heyjeremyc says:

    Please please tell me the origin of the word “nemesis”!


  76. labbatt78 says:

    I’ll try this 1. what’s the origin of the word “May Day”. :?:

  77. werephish says:

    Two suggestions for future words.

    Cookie, and “y’all”.

    Would really love to learn the history of the word y’all!

  78. splinter808 says:

    Hi Marina, I am curious as to the work bologna. My Belgium Grandma pronounced it just as its spelled, while the rest of us call it bolonie. And why does it refer to a flat piece of meat that taste like a hotdog and can also be used in response to what someone has said to you and you respond back ” Oh Bolonie”
    Thanks for the learning experience on enriching my work power.

    And for tdwnarrows, maybe you should learn how to use the parental controls that can be used for blocking sites for you children? Or you can screen the videos 1st and then let the see the ones you want :smile:

  79. augie says:

    :lol: another 10 ther that blue blouse and ur eyes really excited everyone in my household wow ur mmm sooo awsome lov tht cartoon lol :lol: lov and kisses

  80. harveycasual says:

    Hi Marina,

    Acronymph request… higurkejudusavogegadfahenimixajeki :arrow:

    :lol: k??

  81. rowdy says:

    I’ve always wondered the Origin of the phrase
    “Dropped the Dime”
    like to snitch or to tell
    I mean what the heck does that have to do with dimes

    • rythymace says:

      The phrase “Dropped a dime” dates back to when it would cost a dime to make a phone call from a pay phone. So a snitch would “drop a dime” to call and inform to the cops on someone. The phrase didn’t change when payphones went to twenty five cents and then later to even more, the phrase just stuck.

  82. jesterzusmc says:

    What about the word “Snitch”?

  83. jesterzusmc says:


  84. chaloner says:

    how about the word “corny” :arrow:

  85. maal1113 says:

    That answer is FUBAR Fucked up beyond all repair…..

  86. bluecrayolamarker says:

    Hi Marina. What’s the origin and meaning of the word “the”?
    Thanks :smile:

  87. cosaco says:

    Hello Marina!!!!
    Wich is the origin of the word “cameo”?
    Kisses from Argentina.

  88. jtspgs says:

    My sister used a word the today and I had no idea what it means. Can you help? The word is “Infatuated”. Thank you


  89. presumined says:

    Of course, unlike the Private Snafu movie, we aren’t fascinated by big, round boobs these days… :wink:

    • captainjack says:

      Who are you kidding? My neanderthal instincts might argue that point.

      zug zug.

      • BillyB says:

        Where are you captainjack?

      • captainjack says:

        I is here. Where that might be? Across the 7 seas. In search of true love, a tall ship, and a magic compass to steer them all by.

        “May the Winds be at your Back and the Stars to Guide you by.”
        ~~ _/)_ ~~

        Oh, where am I? Exactly? Ok, you asked.
        47º38.10′N by 122º20.35′W
        You can visit my website for a map of my little sailing yacht.
        Just click on my name. Why do you ask? Are your the paparazzi or a G man?

      • Bob says:

        Co-ordinates entered in fire-control system, Sir. :grin:

      • Bob says:

        Some nice boats in that MARINA, Jack, but I was wondering how you were going to set a spinnaker on that motor cruiser. (Until I went to your web site)

      • presumined says:

        Aye aye, captain. Those fine twin bouys will mark your passage… now we just need a derivation for “zug zug”…
        *chortle* :lol:

      • lividemerald says:

        Did you start out as a buoy scout?

      • captainjack says:

        Bob, thats not my motor boat. Its an old photo from Google.
        You like the nice boats parked in that MARINA hu? I’m getting very good at parking my boat in the slip. I try to practice as much I can. One weekend I slip it in and out of the MARINA twice in one day. I tried to set the spinnaker but broke the spinner so I only have a naker. Its a bit naked without the spinner. :roll: :razz: :mrgreen:

        Lividemerald, No I never was in buoy scouts. I wish I could have joined, but my step mother was very abusive and supportive. She would not let me join. :cry:

        Presumined, Red buoys are called nuns and Green buoys are called cans. We have some of the best looking cans in the Pacific North West. One day when I was sailing my boat, I came to close and I touched a can. The boom on my boat slapped me on the side of my face. :shock: I learned my lesson on that one I think. :oops:

        :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  90. pairadots says:

    The answer is F.U.B.A.R. Fucked Up Beyond All Repair. I still would like to know where Stool Pidgeon came from.

  91. ilovehotforwords4sure says:

    Your use of slang was really meaningless and detracted from this video. I do not understand why you introduced the other woman yelling to you. The animals were cute until you used them too much.
    I don’t think you were feeling good when you did this one.

  92. caktonias says:

    As I am sure many people have already said, I think the term you are looking for is FUBAR.

    However one of my personal favorites and another common term in the United States military is BOHICA (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again) which is usually used when your commanding officer is reaming you out (ream or reaming being my suggested word) or under similar situations.

  93. ledfloyd says:

    Word suggestion: how about “computer bug”? or “glitch”?

  94. peasearian says:

    Marian you are such a naughty girl, but your teaching is very instructive. You never have a snafu. That little wink at the end makes me wonder if you are a coquette. Who is coquette and when was it first used to describe one? :wink:

  95. lcl4 says:

    FUBAR … Fucked Up Beyond All Reason. :mrgreen:

  96. billyinc1 says:

    Now that was funny Marina and I enjoyed it.

    Not to worry about the profanity in the earlier post it was appropriate my Dear not too mention HOT.

    An Admirer
    TX :grin:

  97. chiller1822 says:

    i always wondered the origin of the word “whine”

  98. machetey says:

    what is the origin of the word “Taboo” and thanks for the video very enlightening.

  99. wordlover says:

    I have a theory on the origin of the word “fuck”. Let me know if you want to hear it.

    • nlsmafia2008 says:

      For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge????

      • ample says:

        That origin is actually false; I think she talked about that word on her first Maxim radio show appearance.

      • nlsmafia2008 says:

        Well, I though I would throw it out there since VanHalen/Hagar used
        ‘ For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge ‘ as a Title to one of their CD’s that included the song – Poundcake and some other great songs too..
        It was only a thought so oh well. Thank you for replying and showing me the error I made now I will have to try and find Marina’s Radio SHow library so I can learn what she taught at the time. Thannks again….

      • wordlover says:

        No, although I would word it “Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”.

        Rather, I think its origin suggests not “banging against” but rather “breeding”. In Dutch, there’s a strikingly-similar-sounding word for “to breed”: fokken. Note, however, that this term is not considered offensive in Dutch. So, a (well-known) sentence like “Ik fok parden.” doesn’t mean, “I fuck horses.” but “I breed horses.” Which, in turn, could perhaps suggest “I make horses fuck.”

  100. hotforhfw says:

    Oh, for some reason I thought that the R in FUBAR stood for “relief”. I suppose “recovery” would work too. Whatever.

  101. gpt29 says:

    FUBAR…Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

  102. peterjr says:

    Hi Marina,

    We named our company Rhimba. We invented the word or so we thought. We’ve been told by some people that it has been around for a long time. I haven’t been able to find any record of this. What do you think? Can you guess which words we meshed together to create the name? You can see our company at

  103. opusrex says:

    FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition and was at least a weekly occurance during my time in the Army.

  104. positivechillout says:

    Hi there!! I was wondering where the word “but” came from. As in “I wanted to go the to the movies BUT I had to do some house cleaning.” Thanks a lot and havea great day!

  105. squid says:

    I’ve never heard you curse before it was shocking :shock: . Well, not really.

    Anyways, Marina–the other night some friends and I were drinking and trying to create a drinking game that related to your show (we couldn’t figure one out, maybe some suggestions?). So that brought up a word idea, could you do an episode describing the origin of the word Alcohol, or drunk, or booze? Or perhaps another word in the same category? Thanks! :smile:

  106. ryuchan16 says:

    That old cartoon was cheezely funny!
    Umm I have a request about the phase,the bottom line.
    That or the final straw.
    Both confuse me alot.
    Thanks teach!

  107. carmuzo says:

    you would be exhausted because you have many students!, but my note is about “Things are in a mess”… i consider that your introduce to this video is funiest that i remember, and consider too that you are very good teacher really… greetings from colombia my dear teacher!!!!

  108. basman1220 says:

    Most of us enjoy them, i want to know about the word ‘cocktail’.
    thanks and hope to hear about this soon.

  109. ef says:

    Situation Normal: All F*&@^d Up

  110. somebeauty says:

    Hello Marina,

    I am a leech. But which leech am I. I hope I am a Celt or a Slavic or an old English leech. And sometimes I feel very comfortable acting a bit like an aquatic worm. Maybe you can help me to fix this. Solve the mystery of

    And there is another thing, but this is quite easy for you I think.
    Can you or someone else tell me and thereby others about the abbreviations: O.Dan , P.Gmc , cf. O.N. , O.H.G.
    Ir. , M.E. , Gk.

    Bye dear Marina

  111. flyboy_randy says:

    Is there another word for ‘Thesaurus’?
    Where did it come from?
    Большое спасибо.

  112. mosescali says:

    hi can you find the origin of the term ‘wet willy’? thnks

  113. muggins says:

    Snafu is worse than being hornswaggled and bamboozled both together.

  114. errin says:

    My word request is ‘vanitas’, a rather important concept that is all-encompassing, yet understood by so few. A concept that can be used to explain such simple things as why Marina typo’d snafu into ‘sanfu’ above. Sanfu and booby trap? That sounds neither intelligent nor sexy. Sanfu must be a snafu’d snafu, apparently. :evil:

    Speaking of intelligence = sex, I can’t help but wonder if the youtube phenom that runs this website is familiar with, the youtube of intellectual discussion. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design… all words that pertain to our trusty teacher. Here’s a sample of a TED video pertaining to the science of romantic love (i.e. the mechanics of mating), one that can be beneficial to both the admired and the admirers here at

    It’s a lecture by Dr. Helen Fisher about how love is a drive, not just an emotion. Any philophile worth their salt, especially one worth their sea salt, should check it out. Get to understand themselves and others when it comes ‘the word’… which every Beatles fan knows is ‘Love’.

    Glad to see this site has improved since I was here last. I don’t have to call in my muscle after all. Don’t make me call in the little guy from my gravatar… he’s a bit too muscular for most. :twisted:

    Peace and love, Errin : )

    • errin says:

      Regarding snafus, I wanted to share the lyrics from The Fixx song ‘One Thing Leads To Another’. It is apropos to a lot of things

      One Thing Leads To Another

      The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say?
      You’ve got a blank face, which irritates
      Communicate, pull out your party piece
      You see dimensions in two
      State your case with black or white
      But when one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth
      You run for cover so discreet, why don’t they:

      Do what they say, say what you mean
      One thing leads to another
      You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
      But then one thing leads to another.

      The impression that you sell
      Passes in and out like a scent
      But the long face that you see comes from living close
      To your fears
      If this is up then I’m up but you’re running out of sight
      You’ve seen your name on the walls
      And when one little bump leads to shock miss a beat
      You run for cover and there’s heat, why don’t they:

      Do what they say, say what they mean
      One thing leads to another
      You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long
      But then one thing leads to another
      One thing leads to another

      Then it’s easy to believe
      Somebody’s been lying to me
      But when the wrong word goes in the right ear
      I know you’ve been lying to me
      It’s getting rough, off the cuff I’ve got to say enough’s enough

      Bigger the harder he falls
      But when the wrong antidote is like a bone in the throat
      You run for cover in the heat why don’t they:

      Do what they say, say what they mean
      One thing leads to another
      You tell me something wrong, I know I listen too long
      But then one thing leads to another
      One thing leads to another

      • BillyB says:
        “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. but in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” CS Lewis, The Four Loves

      • Bob says:

        What a desolate place you come from, Billy. That is a very self centred conception of love; I know – I’ve been there.
        The quickest way to mend a broken heart is to IMMEDIATELY go out and find someone or something else to love because hearts don’t break from the outside; they rupture because the love inside them can’t get out. Moping and grieving hardens the surface and prevents the love from escaping and they eventually burst.
        This is why women are more susceptible to broken hearts than men; they have this fixation that one can only love one person at a time. Men are wiser in this regard and can love more than one woman.
        Who says we men cannot do multitasking? :grin:

      • okay4now says:

        Love is not selfish, nor is it self centered;
        but the pursuit of love is most definitely both. :idea:

    • captainjack says:

      Welcome back Errin. :mrgreen:


  115. pepito says:

    Here’s my request: Taxi, is used worldwide…

  116. jimbojones says:

    :shock: F.U.B.A.R meaning

    Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

  117. cavazos says:

    I’m happy for you and all your great success! My kindergarden son asked me what the origin of HAMBURGER was? I made a joke of it but still don’t know the origin. We would love for you to help us find out more about HAMBURGER. We love your accent and your beauty! Stay great!!

  118. I believe the acronym you are looking for is F.U.B.A.R. :D

  119. mattia says:

    learning more and more from you :mrgreen:

    I would really like to know the origin of the word:Peculiar

    Keep up the lessons!

  120. maddog says:

    FUBAR–is the acronym for “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition”

  121. warlordfeyd says:

    I’m just resubmitting my request for the word “Vampire” or also spelled “Vampyre” in some European countries–Also would love to be mentioned as a future “teacher’s pet” since most of my teachers in grade/high school highly appreciated my intelligence and some friends called me one…tyvm Marina for your continued insights on words and the tireless research you go through to help us–I’m also sending kisses to your evil twin sis as well*muah muah muah* :wink: :razz:

  122. aleksandar says:

    I would like to know the origin of word Beautiful

  123. aleksandar says:

    FUBAR BUNDY :Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet

    Marina stvarno si najljepše stvorenje koje sam ikad vidio

  124. juancarlosjones says:

    My leg shakes like Snafu’s when Marina’s videos start. :cool:

    I would like to know the origin of “plumb”. As in that wall is plumb. I have guys on the crew who use level for vertical and plumb for horizontal. Dopes!

    • mrkabdrivr says:

      I may be getting ahead of myself, here, but I believe that “plumb” may come from the french word “plomb”, which means “lead” (the metal). Because if I rely on the french version of “this wall is plumb” (ce mur est d’aplomb) we say “d’aplomb” because the instrument to measure the vertical level of a structure is a “plomb”, which in the old days, was simply consisting of a piece of lead (plomb) at the end of a string, thus the name. I can even go further as to say that it has the same origin as “plumber” (in french “plombier” because of the large use of lead in this trade).

      But then again, I could be full of it too, it wouldn’t be a first! :roll:

      • lividemerald says:

        I think you’re right. The modern spelling of plomb (lead) goes back to the 15th Century. The original French word was plum (first used in 1119). It derived from the Latin word plumbum. The word plombier (plumber) is based on the more modern spelling of plomb, In 1266, the word appeared as plunmier (yes, the spelling is correct). In 1508, with plum now written plomb, plunmier became plombier, Everything you said about the instrument that measures verticality is correct. Great work!!!

  125. mexisk8r says:

    this word is kinda profane but i would like to know what the word : FUCK means. please!!!!! :lol:

    • pairadots says:

      I’ve heard that after the plague in order to repopulate England the King would turn a blind eye to the law that prohibited fornication. Fornicate Under Consent of the King. I don’t know how true this story is though.

  126. russianboy says:

    can you give us the origin of russian VODKA. I think that it would be very interesting for us… thank you))

  127. airguitarstar says:

    please do the word Hamburger

  128. tonymg says:

    i want to know where the origin of the word skateboard came from??..kinda obvious but there is probably more to the word than people think?? so please do this??

  129. hurdygurdyswede says:

    Hey Martina, can you explain the phrase ‘that’s the way the cookie crumbles’ for me please?

  130. andrewbean90 says:

    A computer hacker is what I want you to do the origin of. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  131. nbeltran says:

    :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile:


    Another Military Term:


    “Fouled or Fucked UP Beyond Recognition!”

    ooooh rahhh!



  132. nickelfrog says:

    FUBAR is the acronym you are looking for.

    Thanks for a wonderful lesson today on SNAFU.

    A word I would like to see you check for the derivation and meaning is ‘Gawdelpus’. I know what it means but have no idea where it comes form.
    (It sounds like if YOU had one it would be BEAUTIFUL!)
    Thanks for the lessons,

  133. roadrunrnch says:



  134. runawayscott says:

    it has to be FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Repair)
    Why did those two guys have to sit out of this homework?

  135. okay4now says:

    F.U.B.A.R.- A little Chinese dive in El Segundo, CA that serves great egg fu young (all take-out, you order at a counter).

  136. noah6haon says:

    TEACH US SOME RUSSIAN!!! :smile:

  137. yeeeaahhbaby says:

    Why do people say “10:4″ when talking over radios to confirm hearing a message?
    What is this code for and how does the code work?
    Also, why is “roger” used for the same purpose?

    Where do “roger” and “10:4″ come from?

    Love yah,

  138. vixxin says:

    I am new to this so please i hope i don’t mess this up =-)

    I would like to request a word, the word is Alien
    as in space invaders heh
    thank you and Mmmuwah hugs and kisses to you, awsome lessons

  139. kramp says:

    very interesting concept, one question, are youe ver going to let us meet yoir sister, since we hear her almost every day in your lesson?
    Good work!
    Keep it up
    thank’s mate!

  140. I have a word request, well not so much a word as a phrase. The phrase that I would like to know the origin of is “like a bat out of hell“. My grandmother uses the phrase a lot to describe someone or something that is out of control. I am curious as to the origin of the phrase. Thank you.

  141. ArgonTheAware says:

    I loved that lesson Marina! But it only scratched the surface of the subject

    There are much deeper reasons why things get FUBAR and SNAFU is SOP.

    It’s because true communication is only possible between equals and there are none in the military with the different ranks.

    The seargents that have to carry out the orders only tell the officers above them what they want to hear out of fear of reprimand and the generals don’t get the true information they need to make effective decisions since the farther up the chain of command you go the more yes men there are telling you what you want to hear out of fear of reprisals.

    This is the essence of the SNAFU principle, because it leads to an equal and opposite burden of omniscienceupon those at the top, in the eye of the pyramid.

    All that is forbidden to those at the bottom—the conscious activities of
    perception and evaluation—is demanded of the Power Elite, the
    master class. They must attempt to do the seeing, hearing,
    smelling, etc. and all the thinking and evaluating for the whole

    But a man with a gun (the power to punish) is told only what
    the target thinks will not cause him to pull the trigger (write the
    pink slip, order the court-martial). The elite, with their burden of
    omniscience, face the underlings, with their burden of nescience,
    and receive only the feedback consistent with their own preconceived
    notions and reality-tunnels.

    The burden of omniscience becomes, over time, another and more complex burden of nescience. Nobody really knows anything anymore, or if they do, they are careful to hide the fact. The burden of nescience becomes omnipresent. More and more of sensory experience becomes unspeakable.

    I hope this helps fill in the gaps of your lesson.

    • Marina says:

      Thanks ArgonTheAware! Also.. when you look at the actual phrase “Situation Normal, All F’d Up”.. the “Situation Normal” part is a cut down to the superiors believe.. meaning that NORMALLY things are messed up, right? Meaning that those in charge are not doing a great job? Something like that?

      • ArgonTheAware says:

        Yes something like that, since that’s what makes it Standard Operating Procedure. The people at the bottom that have to carry out the orders expect it to be Fucked Up as a matter of course so they count on them not making any sense.

        That’s one of the reasons that discipline is so important in the military, they follow the orders by reflex without having to worry about whether they make sense or not. As they always told me when I was in the Air Force “We don’t pay you to think”

        Without the correct feedback and accurate information, it’s no wonder those in charge can’t do a very good job.

      • prospero811 says:

        Marina – thank you for the mention regarding the SNAFU video! :grin:

        Isn’t it interesting how at the beginning of the video the word SNAFU comes up one letter at a time, implying its origin as an anagram. I can just picture the WW2 soldiers ready to ship out, watching this short cartoon before the latest Bogart-Bacall flick, and laughing hysterically because they know full-well what the term means.

        Can I also be teacher’s pet? If so, may I request that both you and your evil twin announce my status as teacher’s pet, so I can be the teacher’s pet and also the teacher’s evil twin sister’s pet? Fighting back and forth over me would be fine, too… :twisted:

        Love your videos and they get better all the time.


      • captainjack says:

        ArgonTheAware is correct. We would get orders that made no sense. So we where trained to follow orders almost blindly. An officer could not order us to jump off of a bridge per say but we could question orders that threaten our lives or safety.

        You see Marina, That’s why I had a FUBAR ‘IN’ box. I would get these crazy request (orders) and I tried to make sense of them. My ‘OUT’ box was the WTF?

        LOL “You don’t get paid to think!” was mention many many times. Oh now the flash backs are coming again.

        Hey ArgonTheAware. Thanks for your more descriptive post. You did a much better job than I did. Its interesting how similar the military works in all branches. My uncle was in the Air Force and encouraged me to try the service. Then I learned what what NAVY really meant.


      • ArgonTheAware says:

        It works for more than just the military unfortunately a lot of corporations have the same structure than invites the SNAFU principle also with a rigid top down hierarchy. This lightly adapted version of a fable dating back to the early 1960s illustrates the phenomenon perfectly:

        In the beginning was the plan, and then the specification;
        And the plan was without form, and the specification was void.

        And darkness was on the faces of the implementors thereof; And they spake unto their leader, saying: “It is a crock of shit, and smells as of a sewer.”

        And the leader took pity on them, and spoke to the project leader:”It is a crock of excrement, and none may abide the odor thereof.”

        And the project leader spake unto his section head, saying:
        It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide it.”

        The section head then hurried to his department manager, and informed him thus: “It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”

        The department manager carried these words to his general manager, and spoke unto him saying:”It containeth that which aideth the growth of plants, and it is very strong.”

        And so it was that the general manager rejoiced and delivered the good news unto the Vice President. “It promoteth growth, and it is very powerful.”

        The Vice President rushed to the President’s side, and joyously exclaimed: “This powerful new software product will promote the growth of the company!”

        And the President looked upon the product, and saw that it was very good.

        After the subsequent and inevitable disaster, the suits protect themselves by saying “I was misinformed!”, and the implementors are demoted or fired.

      • captainjack says:

        You just have defined how the US government feeds us propaganda!
        Am I the only one that sees this?? :sad:

        Love the post ATA :mrgreen:

    • BillyB says:

      Hi ArgonTheAware. Love readin this little bit of a thread of thought that developed. Having not experienced being in the military I feel informed, having grown up in a military nieghboughrhood I understand a little better why alcohol was a perscription of the military at the time. Having my own business for 23yrs I have had the privilege of working with good people. Have had to train some young guys & lose them to others or competition, thats fine, but I would not tolerate someone not thinking for themselves. I’m the boss but I don’t want to be a control freak or feared, just respected & if real lucky admired. Some of the smartest people on the planet crush steel down the road from me. They throw cars & trucks around like toys & dump them in a big hopper that spits out little bite size pieces & nobody’s died there. The sign on their office wall “Do what needs to be done, not what you’re told”
      They make big $$$ there too. :smile:

  142. troublemaker1991 says:

    Dear Marina, here’s my word request which I hope you will find very interesting.
    I was thinking of the origin of ‘holy cow’ or ‘holy crap’ or even ‘holy s**t’ ??
    And keep up the great work! You’re awesome ^^

  143. bad doggie says:

    It’s like this,,, it’s SNAFU today so break out your BMFH and make it all FUBAR by tomorrow :evil: :twisted: That’ll teach;em to complain :twisted: :arrow: :evil:

  144. guardianjosha says:

    how about this one “swag” it is a little easier but it should be from about the same area and time homework : FUBAR


  145. roddack says:


    as a word request I would love to hear you discuss the origin of the word Liberty.

  146. gramps525 says:

    BOHiCA is another one that you might have missed lol it means


  147. gramps525 says:

    FUBAR lol used it alot when i was in the army lol your still hot

    • prospero811 says:

      How about bohica? If it’s a snafu, it can also be fubar, but if it’s going to happen again, is it bohica (Bend Over Hear It Comes Again)? Well, fido, I guess (Fuck It, Drive On).

      A funny one is “DAN” – if a soldier hasn’t showered for a while, he might be said to “smell like DAN” (Dick, Ass and Nuts).

      Another one is BCD – Birth Control Device. A soldier wears his BCD’s on across the bridge of his nose, as they refer to his glasses (army glasses not being known for their attractiveness).

      • captainjack says:

        Hey Prospero811, I used to wear BCD’s. The glasses had large black rims. Very ugly glasses at the time when people where using thin wire framed glasses in the 80′s. I asked the guys how come no girls would go out with me. They said get rid of those BCD’s and see what happens. Later on I ended up dating a very hot model that made a TV commercial for a brand of car soap in Australia.

      • Bob says:

        You really know you’ve got what it takes when you pull even though you’ve put on BCDs to have a quiet night. :shock:

      • Bob says:

        BTW, did you know that the absolute best BCD for women is an Aspirin?
        It’s true; take one tablet and hold it tightly between the knees. :lol:

      • captainjack says:

        You know, I tried to find my old BCDs when the geek look was back in style. Never did I find them. Damn. :cool:

  148. john1178 says:

    FUBAR….that is self explaining

  149. john1178 says:

    FUBAR…..enough said

  150. mgpneus says:

    I would like to request you the word “suck”.
    If you want to meet me, I´m available by now jajaja.

  151. aniara says:

    Answer for todays homework: Fucked up beond all recognition…
    And I would like to request a word as well: “Tandem”.

  152. nighteye says:

    Nice vid :)

    What puzzles me, though, is why “Fucked Up” is used to describe something bad… :???:

    As for the homework, maybe SOS?

    • prospero811 says:

      I don’t know, but why is it that every time I write “F” you see “K?”

    • prospero811 says:

      Actually, my guess is that it derives from the two points-of-view associated with the act. One person is doing the F-ing. The other person is getting “F-ed.” The person doing the F-ing is typically viewed as in the power position, no pun intended, and the one getting F-ed is viewed as serving the needs of the F-er in a subordinate manner. So, there is a negative connotation with getting fucked or being fucked, as opposed to doing the fucking. So, when a situation has been fucked, it has then become fucked, or otherwise known as fucked up. Just a guess…

      • bad doggie says:

        If you are the F-er and you are F-ing correctly the F-ed should be enjoying being F-ed as much as you are enjoying F-ing,,, But this is merely my personal opinion :cool:

        And by having a history with the military I understand the meaning of being F-ed up beyond all repair

        I FIGMO-D out and now everything is hunky dory :grin:

      • prospero811 says:

        Very true, bad doggie, very true. However, enjoyment is different than other perceptions of the act. The submissive role has always been seen by men as not a good thing. I.e. to be on the “receiving end” is not seen as advantageous, to say the least.

        In old Roman times, noblemen would sometimes F male concubines – and it was acceptable to “pitch” but not “catch.” I.e. it’s o.k. to “F” but not “get F-ed” in that sense.

        Also, in traditional western society, the perception is that men “take” something when they are with a woman. And women “give” men something when they “give it up.” They also “lose” something when they do it for the first time – they “lose” their virginity. The concept of a male being a “virgin” is a relatively new byproduct of our egalitarian culture.

        So, men do the “F-ing” usually – and women “get F-d” and in doing so they either “lose” something that men “take” or “give” something that men “get.” That’s the terminology that has traditionally been uses. So, if you “get F-d” then that implies you’ve lost something or had to give something up – it’s a negative. And if you “F-d” someone (did the “F-ing”) then you got something, stole something, or were given something. That implies something positive.

        So, if a situation is “F-d” – it’s mean it’s lost – it’s given up – it’s been taken. There’s a short leap from there to mean that it’s all “screwed up” or “botched.”

        This is all just personal speculation.

      • nighteye says:

        Well, that is a good explanation – very plausible, and a good speculation.


  153. prospero811 says:

    Hey Marina -

    You’ll get a kick out of this youtube video combining the word “snafu” with a previous word you’ve done, “booby trap.” It’s one of a series of WW2 cartoons that were shown as instructional videos to soldiers, staring Private Snafu (who sounds suspiciously like Bugs Bunny).

    • BillyB says:

      Nice find :smile:
      Leave him alone I thinks, nuf’ said
      What’s up with the latest poll? Can’t figure out the reason Marina wants our opinion. Not like her to not say what’s on her mind :?:
      NFG gets written in chalk on all FUBAR parts & tyres at the shop.
      Have a reasoable day!

      • prospero811 says:

        Yeah – I like how in the beginning the word SNAFU comes up one letter at a time with a slight hesitation as the letters come up… you KNOW that the writers knew what snafu meant and the intended audience knew what snafu meant – but the average person wouldn’t know at the time.

    • captainjack says:

      :shock: OMG! Funny video prospero811! Thanks for the entertaining post. Yea I agree it sound like the bugs bunny voice.

    • okay4now says:

      Nice work prospero811

  154. rhitmic says:

    I wonder what word encore means?:)

  155. tayljim says:

    FUBAR Fucked Up Beyond All Repair

    TARFU Things Are Really Fucked Up

  156. prospero811 says:

    Word request: sideburns.

    They are on the sides of a person’s head, but do they burn?

  157. mrkabdrivr says:

    Since you are already in it, what about the word “fuck”? I know it’s a bit of a dirty word, but I would like to know: I’ve been told it was an acronym for Fornication Under Conscent of the King… I find it a little far fetched, myself… Is it true? Thank you!

    And BTW, I know you’re getting this compliment a billion times a day, but still, here it is again: you look lovely. A feast for the eyes, I say! Have a nice day!

    • captainjack says:

      Its only a dirty word in the English language. Do you know of dirty words in other languages that mean nothing to English language. I’ll get your started with my sisters favorite word to say “Bugger”.

  158. in credibly blue :roll:

    as captainjack said, same old shit is not the meaning of SOS

    Save Our Ship is the real one, it comes from the morse code used in the Titanic telegraph when it wrecked.

    • captainjack says:

      As Miss Marina is teaching us we have to dig a bit deeper into our research to see if we have uncovered the correct origin of a word. Don’t take the first answer you get as the correct definition. :cool:

      :idea: Clue:
      SOS was used long before it ever made its appearance on a ship.
      SOS had a hard time being accepted was officially ratified in 1908. There was this other code that was used before SOS that meant the same thing.

      Keep digging :!:

  159. prospero811 says:


  160. air-z says:

    Marina, you even make the word military sound sexy :lol:

  161. derfasthirnlosenick says:

    2 theories:

    1) Fucked Up Beyon All Recognition/Repair.
    2) As it originates in WW2, some people say it’s derived from the german “furchtbar” meaning “awful”.

    or a little bit of both.

  162. captainjack says:

    Congrats Kiddx!! :mrgreen:

    Well I was going to bow out of this assignment because I posted the meaning of the two words but can’t seem to find it on this site anymore. But since a few of you have already answered it, FUBAR is correct. :wink:


    When I served in the Navy I had an ‘IN’ box called my FUBAR box. Above my desk was a mini poster with the words
    US Navy status is: SNAFU
    Interestingly enough is most of the officer did not know what it meant. I told them it was just the name of my IN box.
    My ‘OUT’ box was called: ’77 68 61 74 20 74 68 65 20 66 75 63 6b ?’
    The question mark was not encoded to make people question what the numbers mean. Lets see if some smart student can decode my OUT box. :twisted: Successfully decoding the message might also give you a clue of what my job was in the Navy.

    Marnia, I did notice years back when people started to make words politically correct (or the P.C. phase in the US back in mid 90′s ) they substituted ‘Fouled’ for ‘Fucked’ in the SNAFU. Policeman became Police-person, Weatherman became Weatherperson, etc. Thats the day when I thought pussification took hold of society.


    • Bob says:

      I’m going to put a Hex on you! :lol:

    • Bob says:

      01011001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110111 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01110010 01111001 01110000 01110100 01101111 01100111 01110010 01100001 01110000 01101000 01100101 01110010 00101110

    • aLx says:

      yeah, it’s kinda hard to find older posts on the site. most of the time google helps. try googling (?) “ fubar”. always use “” to get only results from … well …

    • pioneering says:

      77 68 61 74 20 74 68 65 20 66 75 63 6b
      w h a t t h e f u c k

      Simple ASCII Hex.

      In the Navy, you were either in Communications or Intelligence.
      That’s my guess.

      • captainjack says:

        :mrgreen: Correct pioneering :!: When people would take my paperwork they would always say “What the fuck is this Richards?” (Oh in the military your last name becomes your first name, why this is I don’t know to this day) I would reply” I don’t know but I did all I could do with your request.”
        Since this was a common question and I didn’t want to put the F word on my file box (didn’t want it piss off top brass) I thought I would interesting to put the Hexa Decimal on it.

        I did work on some communications for the welfare of sailors. It was called MARS (Military Affiliated Radio Station). We used ham radio to patch phone calls to shore stations so sailors could call home. I volunteered for the duty on my off hours.

        Intelligence? No I’m not that intelligent. Sorry I couldn’t resist. :razz:
        I can not confirm nor deny that I worked in the Intelligence department.

        Sometimes the best way to hide something is to put it right under their noses. Making so oblivious that people over look it and miss it completely.

        Anymore guesses?

  163. air-z says:

    Another great lesson! FUBAR!

    Alias “airz93″ on, just so you know.

  164. in.tequila.veritas says:


    Understand that it could be the longest Spanish word but what are its roots?

    Cheers !

  165. billyinc1 says:

    That’s Great to learn that Marina; Keep it my Dear. :wink:

    An Admirer,

  166. stokesjrj1 says:

    fubar—–fucked up beyond all repair
    sop—-standard operating procedure
    sos—same old shit
    so-so—–same old same old—–refer to sos

    • captainjack says:

      Sos… Hummm. Anyone know when the first time SOS (…—…) was used? Or what it means? I bet your first guess is wrong. :twisted:

      • mrkabdrivr says:

        I don’t know when it was used for the first time, but it means Save Our Ship (some say: Save Our Souls) Three shorts, three longs, three shorts ( . . . _ _ _ . . . ) in morse code. Besides that, I’m stomped, Captain!

      • air-z says:

        I once heard of mashed potatoes & gravy served on a slice of bread referred to as SOS or shit on shingle.Without decoding and just to be silly, I’m guessing you were a captain, HA HA!

      • captainjack says:

        When I teach students how to pass the United States Coast Guard licensing exams. The CG doesn’t expect you to know all the answers to the questions by heart ( for example CFR’s). But they do expect you to know where to find the answers. 3 of my exams are open book tests. Where am I going with this? I’m saying go ahead and use google to research it. SOS never was meant to mean Save Our Ship (or Souls).

        As for the Morse code your right. ‘O’ = 3 longs and ‘S” = 3 shorts. CQ is – . – . – - . – or dah dit dah dit dah dah dit dah is how we speak it when teaching it verbally. What does CQ stand for? CQ means ‘Calling any station’. Now look up CQD. You might get a clue about the origin of SOS.

        :!: air-z, My dad used to make SOS for us kids. Yea I forgot about that. Oh that was good stuff.

        Nope I was not a captain in the Navy. Not even an officer. The Uniform in my avatar is my merchant marine uniform. Its an outfit you would see on cruise ships. Remember the 80′s TV show ‘The Love Boat’ (btw the TV show is coming out on DVD soon)? This is kind of the dress uniform for a captain of a cruise ship. Good guess though. Anytime you start on a problem you first have to make some educated guesses to get you started. Then do research or fact finding to get the correct answer to the problem. :cool:


    • stokesjrj1 says:

      Oh yes i forgot these:

      Acronym Definition
      SOS [not an acronym] a common misconception is that SOS means Save Our Ship/Souls (a distress call); the letters don’t actually stand for anything
      SOS MAYDAY (logging abbreviation)
      SOS Sibling Over Shoulder (chat)
      SOS Sack Of Stuff (polite form)
      SOS Sacramento Orchid Society (California)
      SOS Samaritans of Singapore
      SOS Same ‘ol Situation
      SOS Same Old Situation (Mötley Crüe song)
      SOS Same Old Song
      SOS Same Old Story
      SOS Same Old Stuff (polite form)
      SOS Sarasota Orchid Society (Florida)
      SOS Sarcoidosis Online Sites
      SOS Save Often Stupid
      SOS Save Our Sailors (Sailor Moon anime)
      SOS Save Our Saucepans
      SOS Save Our School
      SOS Save Our School, Share Our Shores (Ontonagon County, Michigan)
      SOS Save Our Selves
      SOS Save Our Service (Scotland)
      SOS Save Our Ship (distress call, common but incorrect)
      SOS Save Our Shoes (Santa Cruz, CA)
      SOS Save Our Shoreline, Inc. (Michigan)
      SOS Save Our Shows (TV Guide)
      SOS Save Our Society
      SOS Save Our Sons
      SOS Save Our Souls
      SOS Save Our Survivors
      SOS Save Our Wild Salmon
      SOS Save Outdoor Sculpture
      SOS Science of Speed
      SOS Science of Spirituality
      SOS Science of Survival
      SOS Scoot Over Some
      SOS Scope of Services
      SOS Scope of Studies
      SOS Scope of Supply
      SOS Sea of Slime (publication)
      SOS Second Order Statistics
      SOS Secretary Of State
      SOS Secular Organizations for Sobriety (Council for Secular Humanism)
      SOS Secure Object Store (Lotus Notes database system)
      SOS Security Overseas Seminar
      SOS Seek Our Savior
      SOS Self Opening Square (paper bag)
      SOS Send Out Service
      SOS Sending Out Signals (album by group Garrison)
      SOS Senior Operations Specialist
      SoS Servants of Shade (Halo gaming clan)
      SOS Service on Site
      SOS Service Oriented Software
      SOS Services Of Supply (WWII)
      SOS Sex on Stage (band)
      SOS Share Operating System
      SOS Share Our Strength
      SOS Shoot on Sight
      SOS Shoot on Site
      SOS Shot on Sight (band)
      SOS Si Opus Sit (Latin: If Necessary; a prescription indication usually implies the drug is to be administered only once)
      SOS Sick of School
      SOS Sign of Strength (Wyckoff trading theory)
      SOS Significant Other Strike
      SOS Silicon On Sapphire
      SOS Singapore Organisation of Seaman
      SOS Sink or Swim (Super Nintendo video game)
      SOS Sink or Swing (band)
      SOS Skagway Outlet Store
      SOS Skits Outreach Services (theatre troupe)
      SOS Skydivers Over Sixty (social club)
      SOS Slop on a Shingle (chipped beef on toast; polite form)
      SOS Smör Ost Och Sill (Butter, Cheese and Herring)
      SOS Snowboard Outreach Society (Avon, Colorado, USA)
      SOS Soap on Steel (SOS Pads)
      SOS Socialstyrelsen (Sweden: national board of health and welfare)
      SOS Society of Separationists, Inc.
      SOS Society of Singers
      SOS Society of Stranders (shag/beach dancing group; Grand Strand, South Carolina)
      SOS Software Operating System
      SOS Solar Optical Telescope
      SOS Soldiers of Satin (gaming clan)
      SOS Somali Shilling (ISO currency code)
      SOS Some One Special
      SOS Son of Sam
      SOS Son of Satan
      SOS Son of Sevenless (enzyme involved in the signal transduction pathway)
      SOS Son of Stick (fishing)
      SOS Son of Stopgap
      SOS Song of Solomon/Song of Songs
      SOS Sons of Samoa (gang)
      SOS Sons of Satan
      SOS Sophisticated Operating System (Apple /// OS)
      SOS Sound On Sound
      SOS Sounds of Silence
      SOS Source Of Supply
      SOS Source Off-Site
      SOS Southern Ohio Sanitation, LLC
      SOS Southern Oxidants Study (North Carolina State University)
      SOS Space Operations Simulator
      SOS Spawn of Satan
      SOS Special Operations School
      SOS Special Operations Squadron
      SOS Special Operator Service Traffic
      SOS Spectrally Optimized Smart (Camera)
      SOS Speech Option Selection
      SOS Speed Of Service
      SOS Speed of Sound
      SoS Speed of the Shissar (Everquest)
      SOS Spirit of Selling GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
      SOS Split Option Soldier
      SOS Spørgsmål Og Svar (Danish)
      SOS Sprint Office Support (Sprint)
      SOS SPRINT Operations Shelter
      SOS Squadron Officer School (USAF)
      SoS Staff of Shielding (Everquest)
      SOS Stamp Out Smoking
      SOS Standards & Open Systems
      SOS Standing Order Service
      SOS Stars Organisation for Spastics
      SOS Start Out/Off Slow (driver’s education)
      SOS State Operated Schools
      SOS Statement of Sensitivity
      SOS Statement Of Service
      SOS Stop OverSpending
      SOS Storm of Swords (George RR Martin book)
      SOS Story of Sadness (song)
      SOS Stragglers Orienteering Society (UK)
      SOS Strahl-On-Strahl
      SOS Straight Off da Street
      SOS Strategic Office Support
      SOS Strategic Operating System
      SOS Strategic Options Study (India)
      SOS Strawberry on the Shortcake
      SOS Street Outreach Services (San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium)
      SOS Strength of Schedule (sports statistic)
      SOS Struck Off Strength
      SOS Structural Operational Semantics (computer science)
      SOS Structural Operational Semantics (theoretical computer science)
      SOS Stuck On Stupid
      SOS Student Ombuds Service
      SOS Student Online Support
      SOS Student Organization Support
      SOS Student Outcome Survey
      SOS Students for An Orwellian Society
      SOS Stuff On a Shingle (polite form; common military chow hall meal; meat/cream sauce served on toast)
      SOS Sub Ocean Safety (medical rescue of underwater divers)
      SOS Subscriber and Operator Services
      SOS Sultan Of Swat (Babe Ruth)
      SOS Sum-Of-Sinusoids
      SOS Sumatra Orangutan Society
      SOS Summer of Sam (movie)
      SOS Summer of Service
      SOS Supervisor of Shipbuilding
      SOS Support Operating System
      SOS Supportability Online System
      SOS Surveillance of Space
      SOS Surveillance Operating System (Hekimian)
      SOS Survival Optics Sunglasses
      SOS Survivors of Suicide
      SOS Swamp of Sorrows (gaming, World of Warcraft)
      SOS Swedish Obese Subjects (study)
      SoS Sword of Skardsen (Neopets)
      SOS Sygate Online Services
      SOS Symbian Operating System
      SOS Symbolic Operating System
      SOS Syndicated Office Systems
      SOS System Of Systems
      SOS System Operation Status (Sprint)
      SOS System Operational Specification
      SoS System-of-System

      and the final two

      sos—same old shit …is for us landlubbers

      sol—shit outof luck

    • pairadots says:

      Don’t forget SOS-Shit on a Shingle (aka creamed chipped beef on toast)

  167. tdwnarrows says:

    I didn’t see the +18 warning on this video.Why ? Is it to hard tobe politically correct ? As an adult i enjoy learning here,and would give 5 stars.But was glade to veiw this before the kids did.Sorry but for no +18 warning i give 2 stars. :sad:

    • Bob says:

      Didn’t the caption for the video give you a clue?

    • tdwnarrows says:

      I cant find the unsubscribe link for this channel.marina can you tell me were to find it please.Thanks

      • nlsmafia2008 says:

        Hate to see you leave due to this , but I believe that you can take care of this yourself by setting up your computer with an account made especially for your yougsters…This site has never had a Rating system and it certainly has had it’s share of words that you would call profanity or not suitable for your kids in the form of ‘word requests’ for as long as I have been a member here. I think the responsibilty lays with you not Marina with all due respect, Best wishes to you and yours

    • captainjack says:

      Many of us voted that Marina is allowed to use +18 words. There are a large percentage of adult HFW fans using profane words here on this blog. Sorry to see you go tdwnarrows :sad: Marina can delete your account here but your kids can still google it. You should use some kind of website filter like NetNanny or something so your kids are unable search for profanity.
      As for the YouTube part. I think you have to log in to YouTube and select unsubscribe.
      I would recommend you have separate login account for your family members if you all are using the same computer. This way it would be like every family would have just their own part of the computer. Any you won’t have this problem again. :cool:

      Im sure Marina will contact you for your request.

      Thanks for your contribution. We’ll miss you.

    • prospero811 says:

      I disagree that the use of profanity, particularly profanity that is isolated and appropriate to the topic of discussion, requires an 18+ “warning.” First of all, even PG-13 movies have been known to have isolated uses of one or more of the seven dirty words.

      Second, “R” rated moves are “17 and over not admitted without guardian” and those movies can not only say the word “fuck” but can display it in simulated form.

      Third, this is a linguistics-related site – not a “politically correct” linguistics-related site. Discussion of word origins should not be self-censored to sanitize anything. We don’t see Marina being gratuitous in her use of language.

      Fourth, it’s a bit hypersensitive to be concerned about the word “fuck.” Children know that word, in our society, from about the age of 5 or 6 on. They use foul language among their peer group, and sanitize their language around adults. Adults also use this kind of language around their peer groups and sanitize it around children. Neither adults, nor children, explode or become criminals because of their respective use of this kind of language. If your kid happened to see the video, he or she would survive and likely would not end up twitching in a corner psychologically scarred for life.

      Fifth and last point – you are asking for an 18+ warning on Marina’s educational site….yet you haven’t blocked youtube from your computer altogether? Just go into the search box on youtube and search using the word “fuck” and see what comes up. I think if you are allowing you’re children access to the internet, you have far worse things to worry about than Marina using the word in a linguistically appropriate manner.

    • prospero811 says:

      The word fuck in the context Marina is using it (non-obscene, etc.) is constitutionally protected, by the way. I know you’re not talking of government censorship here, but just as an example of how the word is not something that has been or should be erased from the English language, note that in the Supreme Court case of Cohen v. California, wearing a jacket with “Fuck the Draft” on the back (in public) is expressive conduct fully protected by the First Amendment. If you search the net you can find the audio recording of the oral arguments before the supreme court where the Justices of the Supreme Court and the lawyers involved discuss (in a public forum) the use of the word.

      Applying an 18+ rating system here would seem to warrant, also, 18+ ratings on books that use the word. You should run down to your local and school library and make sure that nobody under the age of 18 is reading Lady Chatterly’s Lover or A Catcher in the Rye, not to mention many works of James Joyce and Henry Miller.

    • Marina says:

      tdwnarrows, unsubscribe from what? My website? Do you want me to make it so that you don’t receive any of my holiday cards? Do you receive email notices when I make new posts? What exactly do you want done so that I can take care of it. Sorry to see you go, I enjoyed having you here.

    • okay4now says:

      Slang is a part of the language, better to discuss & dilineate stuff here, then a person can decide when & where & how to use (or never use) something.

    • BillyB says:

      Hey TD. Please don’t unsubscribe. I for one enjoy & respect your comments & opinions. hope you get this. I’m checking in from work today, also checked this out 1st thing this AM (Would have been funny if you were teachers pet today) maybe Ironic, but I digress.
      No time now to read all the comments but one could tell, teacher has been tiptoeing around sometimes & I think she did a good job in this video & opinions will fly… great. I may be a little freaked out as to why I would check up on what’s being said @ this page, but my learning of human behavior is increasing as I think about the whole online dimension ‘nuf said… Don’t leave Mr. TDW Narrows ..Sir… I know you’re probably a great dad :!:

    • Qermaq says:

      I wonder how old the kids are. I don’t see Marina’s usage of profanity as vulgar at all. I’d object if she was, it’s not worthy of an academic. But don’t your kids deserve the truth? Should we sugar-coat the world with a plastic icing so no bad words, images and actions affect the children? Or should we respect their right to the truth, and deliver it, knowing they can and will deal with it.

      I don’t know you, and I’m hesitant to jump to any conclusions, but I feel as if you’re selling your kids short. You may bring up facts which change that, of course, but as it stands there I sit. Unless they’re 5 or 6, I think your kids are capable of handling this. One, you’re obviously intelligent and well-regarded by others, including Marina, so I assume your kids are as well. Two, the more you hide the “juicy bits” of life from a kid, the more they crave it. It’s basic child psychology.

      It’s good to protect them from physical and emotional danger, extremely disturbing imagery, etc., but if they hear the word “shit” or “fuck” it is not going to harm them. If, when they hear it, you react with scorn, you are only making it more powerful in their minds. So eliminate these words’ power in your kids. Be frank about language, and empower them to never be overpowered by it when others choose to use language to bully, control or assuage.

    • Marina says:

      I edited the video tdwnarrows, and will no longer use any profanity in my videos… so you can come back if you choose. It was an experiment… and I think it’s funny to bleep it out the words anyway. So hopefully you come back.

      • aLx says:

        oh, come one. I mean … really.

      • Bob says:

        I applaud and welcome your decision, Marina, and congratulate you on your display of leadership.
        May we know what it was that influenced your decision in the face of an almost overwhelming vote, in your poll, in favour of you using profanity?

      • sniperskaya says:

        First you let them tell you what you can and can’t say (I noticed my joke about the “Jehovah’s Witless” cult disappeared too), next they’ll have you wearing a burka and forbidding you to speak to any men not in your immediate tribe! :evil:

  168. nlsmafia2008 says:


These are facebook comments below.


Not your typical philologist! Putting the LOL in PhiLOLogy :-)