- Sep 14, 2002
a co-worker of mine says the term FUBAR first made in appearance in the movie "Tango & Cash". Can someone verify this or was it in an earlier movie?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FubarFUBAR likely had its origins in the German word Furchtbar, meaning frightful, or terrible. It is pronounced with a soft cht, and probably made the transition during World War II because foo had been popularized in American culture, appearing in a 1938 Warner Brothers Daffy Duck cartoon and the comic strip Smokey Stover.
Electronics engineers say that snafu and fubar were used before the war by repairmen sent out to repair phone booths. They had to report the situation at arrival to the scene, often on a very bad line, so they developed these acronyms to make themselves understood.
There is some folk etymology that links fubar to the metasyntactic variable, foobar. Snafu is also used in the Illuminatus trilogy and in the Private Snafu series of World War II cartoons.
Except in military and computer sciences/hacker communities, the word fubar had fallen out of use since the 1960s but has enjoyed another resurgence since it was used in the movies Tango and Cash (1989) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). FUBAR is also the title of a 2002 Canadian mockumentary.