From Academic Kids

"SNAFU" is an acronym meaning things are in a mess - as normal. The most commonly accepted rendering is "Situation Normal: All Fucked Up". In modern usage, this rendering is commonly used, as is a "snafu" refering to an otherwise normal situation that suddenly went awry. The acronym is believed to have originated in the US Army during World War II. There are a number of slang army acronyms that are similar to SNAFU. They include:

  • SNAFU - Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.
  • SUSFU - Situation Unchanged, Still Fucked Up.
  • FUMTU - Fucked Up More Than Usual.
  • TARFU - Things Are Really Fucked Up.
  • TOFU - Things Ordinary: Fucked Up.
  • GFU - General Fuck Up.
  • SAMFU - Self Adjusting Military Fuck Up.
  • TUIFU - The Ultimate In Fuck Ups.
  • FUBAR - Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition/Repair/Reason.
  • FUGAZI - Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In; Refers to out-of-control situation such as a chaotic jungle warfare combat environment
  • JANFU - Joint Army/Navy Fuck-Up; apparently used by British troops in WWII.
  • JAAFU - Joint Army-Air Force Fuck-Up; the use of JANFU combined with a radical increase in joint-forces operations since 1989, has led to the rare but increasing use of JAAFU.
  • DILLIGAF ( - Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck/Shit? Interogative form of, "(It) don't mean nothing." Both often heard in Vietnam.
  • TINS - This Is No Shit! Often seen in Vets' forums.

Note: In situations where 'fucked' is inappropriate, it is often replaced with 'fouled'

FUBAR 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.

"The Fubar Suit" (1997) is also the title of a science fiction short story by Stephen Baxter.

See also: Shit sandwich

Snafu is the name given to a mutant gene in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster. Flies afflicted with this gene will start out completely normal in phenotype, but then will start to develop intensely grotesque mutations as they grow up.

Snafu [1] (,30/gameId,9569/) is also the name of a popular 1981 video game title published by Mattel Electronics for the Intellivision console.

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