The term foobar is used as a placeholder name in computer programming. It is used to name entities such as variables, functions, and commands whose purpose is unimportant and serve only to demonstrate a concept. The words themselves have no meaning in this usage. Foobar is sometimes used alone; ‘foo,’ ‘bar,’ and ‘baz’ are sometimes used in that order, when multiple entities are needed.

The origins of the terms are not known with certainty, and several anecdotal theories have been advanced to identify them. Foobar may have derived from the military acronym FUBAR (fucked up beyond all recognition) and gained popularity because it is pronounced the same. In this meaning it also can derive from the German word ‘furchtbar,’ which means awful and terrible and described the circumstances of the Second World War.


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