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SNAFU is an acronym meaning, "Situation Normal; All Fucked Up". It is sometimes bowdlerized to "Situation Normal: All Fouled Up" or similar,[1] in circumstances where profanity is discouraged or censored. In modern usage, "snafu" is often used as an interjection, as a shorthand for the sentiment expressed by the phrase. "Snafu" is also sometimes used as a noun or verb, referring to a situation that suddenly went awry, or the cause of the trouble. The acronym is believed to have originated in the US Army during World War II.


[edit] Date of origin

SNAFU, simply defined as "situation normal" and used in a military context, was first recorded in American Notes and Queries in their September 1941 issue.[2] Time magazine used the term in their June 15, 1942 issue: "Last week U.S. citizens knew that gasoline rationing and rubber requisitioning were snafu."[2] Most reference works, including the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, supply an origin date of 1940-1944, generally attributing it to the U.S. Army. Rick Atkinson, in The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy) ascribes the origin of SNAFU, FUBAR and a bevy of others to cynical GI's ridiculing the Army's penchant for acronyms.

At least three songs from that era can be traced that either are titled "SNAFU" or feature "SNAFU" as part of discussion.

The Army produced training cartoons during WWII featuring a character called Private Snafu who always did the wrong thing.

[edit] Variations

  • BOHICA - Bend Over, Here It Comes Again
  • FIDO - Fuck It-Drive On
  • FISHDO - Fuck It, Shit Happens - Drive On
  • FIFI - Fuck It-Fly It
  • FUBAB - Fucked Up Beyond All Belief
  • FUBAR - Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition
  • FUBB - Fucked Up Beyond Belief
  • FUMTU - Fucked Up More Than Usual
  • JANFU - Joint Army-Navy Fuck Up
  • KMACYOYO - Kiss My Ass Colonel You're On Your Own
  • SNAFUBAR - Situation Normal: All Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition
  • SOL - Shit Out of Luck
  • SSDD - Same Shit, Different Day
  • TARFU - Things Are Really Fucked Up, or Totally and Royally Fucked Up
  • TAUFU - Totally And Utterly Fucked Up
  • DILLIGAS - Do I look like I give a shit
  • DILLIGAFF - Do I look like I give a flying fuck

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Neary, Lynn. "Fifty Years of 'The Cat in the Hat'". NPR. Retrieved on 2008-01-08. "'Situation Normal All . . . All Fouled Up,' as the first SNAFU animated cartoon put it" 
  2. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary, 1986 Supplement.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Glenn Miller - Secret Broadcasts - Track Listing". Music City. Retrieved on 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ D*DAY [DVD]. St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc..

[edit] References

  • A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, R. W. Burchfield, ed., Volume IV Se-Z, 1986.
  • Hakim, Joy (1995). A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509514-6. 

[edit] External links

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