SNAFU is an
acronymmeaning roughly, "things are in a mess — as usual". The most commonly accepted rendering is "Situation Normal: All Fucked Up". In computer jargon, it sometimes is intended to mean "Systems Neatly All Fucked Up". It is sometimes bowdlerizedto "Situation Normal: All Fouled Up" or similar, [cite web | last = Neary | first = Lynn | title = Fifty Years of 'The Cat in the Hat' | publisher = NPR| quote = 'Situation Normal All . . . All Fouled Up,' as the first SNAFU animated cartoon put it | url=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7651308 | accessdate = 2008-01-08] in circumstances where profanityis 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 , or the cause of the trouble. The acronym is believed to have originated in the US Army during World War II.
Date of origin
SNAFU, simply defined as "situation normal" and used in a military context, was first recorded in American
Notes and Queriesin their September 1941 issue.Oxford English Dictionary, 1986 Supplement.] Time magazineused the term in their June 15, 1942 issue: "Last week U.S. citizens knew that gasoline rationing and rubber requisitioning were snafu." 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, FUBARand 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.
Leonard Feather/Shorty Sherock's SNAFU — a jazzinstrumental composition. [http://www.umkc.edu/lib/spec-col/ww2/PostWarWorld/bugle-boys-txt.htm]
Glenn Miller's SNAFU Jump. Cite web | url=http://www.music-city.org/Glenn-Miller/Secret-Broadcasts-102828/ | title=Glenn Miller - Secret Broadcasts - Track Listing | accessdate=2008-07-23 | publisher=Music City | work=]
Carole Landisand Martha Rayeperformed a skit about SNAFU sometime during the war. [cite video | title = D*DAY | medium = DVD | publisher = St. Clair Entertainment Group, Inc. | date = 2004 ]
The Army produced training cartoons during WWII featuring a character called "
Private Snafu" who always did the wrong thing.
*FIDO - Fuck It-Drive On
FUBAR- Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition
*FUBB - Fucked Up Beyond Belief
FUMTU- Fucked Up More Than Usual
JANFU- Joint Army-Navy Fuck Up
TARFU- Things Are Really Fucked Up
*SNAFUBAR - Situation Normal: All Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition
*FUBAB - Fucked Up Beyond All Belief
* - Shit Out of Luck
*TAUFU - Totally And Utterly Fucked Up
*"A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary", R. W. Burchfield, ed., Volume IV Se-Z, 1986.
* [http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?String=exact&Acronym=SNAFU&Find=Find Acronym Finder's SNAFU entry]
* [http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/S/SNAFU-principle.html SNAFU Principle]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/home_front Internet Archive: Private SNAFU - The Home Front (1943)] - This is one of 26 Private SNAFU cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale of the troops.
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