Topics

Foobie


Ray Hutchison
 

Excerpt from: http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2010-March/097205.html

My other vice besides language is model railroading.  In the service of this vice, I subscribe to the e-mail list of the Rock Island Technical Society.  There I have come across a word I had never heard before and did not find in any of the likely dictionaries I consulted.   The word is "foobie," and what it means for those who used it on the RI list is an inauthentic model.  A manufacturer produces a "foobie" by, e.g., making an accurate model of an engine used by the Pennsylvania Railroad and simply painting the same model in Rock Island livery, even though the Rock Island prototype differed in significant ways from the version used by the PR.  It's a common practice (though many manufacturers are now making an effort to be truer to prototype), so there are a lot of foobies out there, but I had never heard the word before last week.  Here are two quotes from messages to the RI list:   The first came in a discussion of a "fantasy" model of an engine soon to be released "just for fun" by a manufacturer (Athearn) in the livery of the RI and several other "fallen flags," even though that engine didn't exist yet when the respective prototype railroads either shut down or were absorbed by other roads.  Some modelers like an occasional "what if" model like this, but others wouldn't have one on their layout, including the author of this sarcastic comment:  "Just put some Intermountain RI cars behind it and you've got a complete foobie train."  The thread went on to discuss the many flaws in the authenticity of the models produced by Intermountain.   Later on in the discussion of Intermountain, somebody wrote:  "The PS2CD 4750's in the blue Did have the wrong car series....If you decide to change the number series with decals, they would be ok for the USRE built clones (I think they have the USRE symbol on the right side of the car), and all their reruns I think still use this car number series from the grey ptd car series. That's a 'fixable foobie', I guess. But you'd think they would have got it by now."   I queried the list about where and when people had first encountered the word and where it might have come from, to which someone answered: "RR guys have co-opted this term, but it is part of the urban dictionary....I first started seeing it on the Steam Era Freight Car list (STMFC) with a RR twist."  He said he thought he had first encountered it in the model railroad context "a few months ago."    The entry in the Urban Dictionary (
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Foobie) that's the most plausible source of the model railroad use is: "Foobie, a compound word made up of fake, and boobies. To describe not only those wondrous silicon orbs that seem to abound everywhere these days, but any variety of artificially enhanced hooters. "'Duuude...check out those boobies.' "'Yeah...total foobies.'"   I don't know anything about the Urban Dictionary, so I don't know whether it's any kind of evidence for actual usage as opposed to self-conscious nonce creations, but clearly the word is in actual use at least by a few model railroaders, among whom it has caught on because it fills a lexical gap that was a concept in search of a word.


Dave Nelson
 

I always assumed it was a Richard Hendrickson-ism.  It’s been on used on STMFC for such a long time, probably going all the way back to Tim O’Connor’s e-mail list.

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

 

....I first started seeing it on the Steam Era Freight Car list (STMFC) with a RR twist."  


maynard stowe
 

Wasn’t Richard Hendrickson a Linguistics Professor? 
Maynard Stowe

On Feb 23, 2021, at 1:11 PM, Dave Nelson <Lake_Muskoka@...> wrote:

I always assumed it was a Richard Hendrickson-ism.  It’s been on used on STMFC for such a long time, probably going all the way back to Tim O’Connor’s e-mail list.
Dave Nelson
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Foobie
 
....I first started seeing it on the Steam Era Freight Car list (STMFC) with a RR twist."  


Tim O'Connor
 

Dave

I searched through my saved emails archive and the earliest use of the term (which was clearly already
in use at the time) was back in 2007. I also searched through my archive of saved rec.models.railroad
(the old Usenet) messages and there are no occurrences of "foobie" - but I found MANY uses of the word
"bogus". So my guess is that we began using the word sometime around the start of the century. :-P

Here is a July 2009 email from David Hussey -

From: "dh30973" <dhussey@...>
Subject: [MFCL] What constitutes a Foobie?

What constitutes a Foobie? After reading all this debate, maybe we need to grade them.

Foobie 1a: An accurate car with minor mistakes in decorating (dates, COTS, ACI, capacity)
Foobie 1b: An accurate car with major mistakes in decorating (wrong number series, wrong color)

Foobie 2: A semi accurate car with detail mistakes for the decorating (wrong roof walk, high vs low brake)

Foobie 3: An semi-inaccurate car for the decorating (wrong door size)

Foobie 4: A car that is right for one scheme and totally bogus for others (The B&0 40 Hi-Cube, F box decorated for xxx)

Foobie 5: A Stand In, Something close in detail with an accurate scheme (Maybe the same F Box decorated for xxx)

Foobie 6: Nothing correct (Tyco warbonnet GP20)

Your mileage and rating can (and will) vary.

Someone's Foobie can be another person's favorite model, until "we" collectively rain on their parade. Maybe we can get the NMRA to require this printed on the box after a select secret panel votes on the rating.

Tongue somewhat firmly planted in cheek<g>.

Dave Hussey


On 2/23/2021 1:11 PM, Dave Nelson wrote:

I always assumed it was a Richard Hendrickson-ism.  It’s been on used on STMFC for such a long time, probably going all the way back to Tim O’Connor’s e-mail list.

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

 

....I first started seeing it on the Steam Era Freight Car list (STMFC) with a RR twist."  


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Richard Townsend
 

I thought "foobie" had some relationship to "FUBAR." F[ouled] up beyond all recognition.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Feb 23, 2021 11:27 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

Dave

I searched through my saved emails archive and the earliest use of the term (which was clearly already
in use at the time) was back in 2007. I also searched through my archive of saved rec.models.railroad
(the old Usenet) messages and there are no occurrences of "foobie" - but I found MANY uses of the word
"bogus". So my guess is that we began using the word sometime around the start of the century. :-P

Here is a July 2009 email from David Hussey -

From: "dh30973" <dhussey@...>
Subject: [MFCL] What constitutes a Foobie?

What constitutes a Foobie? After reading all this debate, maybe we need to grade them.

Foobie 1a: An accurate car with minor mistakes in decorating (dates, COTS, ACI, capacity)
Foobie 1b: An accurate car with major mistakes in decorating (wrong number series, wrong color)

Foobie 2: A semi accurate car with detail mistakes for the decorating (wrong roof walk, high vs low brake)

Foobie 3: An semi-inaccurate car for the decorating (wrong door size)

Foobie 4: A car that is right for one scheme and totally bogus for others (The B&0 40 Hi-Cube, F box decorated for xxx)

Foobie 5: A Stand In, Something close in detail with an accurate scheme (Maybe the same F Box decorated for xxx)

Foobie 6: Nothing correct (Tyco warbonnet GP20)

Your mileage and rating can (and will) vary.

Someone's Foobie can be another person's favorite model, until "we" collectively rain on their parade. Maybe we can get the NMRA to require this printed on the box after a select secret panel votes on the rating.

Tongue somewhat firmly planted in cheek<g>.

Dave Hussey


On 2/23/2021 1:11 PM, Dave Nelson wrote:
I always assumed it was a Richard Hendrickson-ism.  It’s been on used on STMFC for such a long time, probably going all the way back to Tim O’Connor’s e-mail list.
Dave Nelson
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Foobie
 
....I first started seeing it on the Steam Era Freight Car list (STMFC) with a RR twist."  


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Nelson Moyer
 

I think FUBAR is a term used by enlisted personnel in the military, where it is a most appropriate description of many activities.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Richard Townsend via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 1:36 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

 

I thought "foobie" had some relationship to "FUBAR." F[ouled] up beyond all recognition.

Richard Townsend

Lincoln City, OR

 


Tony Thompson
 

Dave Nelson wrote:

I always assumed it was a Richard Hendrickson-ism.  It’s been on used on STMFC for such a long time, probably going all the way back to Tim O’Connor’s e-mail list.

  Richard said he learned it in the Navy, from FUBAR. I have never heard of the term applied to silicone body parts, and in fact would suspect that's a "false construction."

Tony Thompson




Tony Thompson
 

maynard stowe wrote:

Wasn’t Richard Hendrickson a Linguistics Professor? 

Yes, he was, and he was using "foobie" back in the 1980s, maybe before.

Tony Thompson




spsalso
 

"fubar" is an adjective.

"foobie" is a noun.  

Sometimes you need a noun, and you make one up based on an existing, but appropriate, different part of speech.



Ed

Edward Sutorik


Philip Dove
 

Looking in my 5 slang dictionaries i can't find foobie, it isn't in a dictionary of railway terms, or language of the underworld. Could it be derived from the US cartoon character Smokey Storer. who used the word "Foo" as a substitute word for anything where he couldn't be bothered to find the correct word. the manufacturers might be accused of; couldn't be bothered to find the correct prototype. the word Foo was used by the RAAF and Richard Hendricksen was a keen and knowledgeable aviator. 

Virus-free. www.avast.com


On Tue, 23 Feb 2021 at 21:09, spsalso via groups.io <Edwardsutorik=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
"fubar" is an adjective.

"foobie" is a noun.  

Sometimes you need a noun, and you make one up based on an existing, but appropriate, different part of speech.



Ed

Edward Sutorik


Tony Thompson
 

Looking in my 5 slang dictionaries i can't find foobie, it isn't in a dictionary of railway terms, or language of the underworld. Could it be derived from the US cartoon character Smokey Storer. who used the word "Foo" as a substitute word for anything where he couldn't be bothered to find the correct word. the manufacturers might be accused of; couldn't be bothered to find the correct prototype. the word Foo was used by the RAAF and Richard Hendricksen was a keen and knowledgeable aviator. 

Why is there a resistance to FUBAR as the origin? One can readily describe a lame model with the words behind that acronym (whichever word starting with "F" you prefer). It has always seemed to me that "foobie" is a natural descendant.

Tony Thompson




Richard Townsend
 

And as you said, Tony, didn't our late resident linguist say 'foobie" was derived from "FUBAR?" That seems pretty authoritative to me.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Thompson <tony@...>
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Feb 23, 2021 2:22 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

Looking in my 5 slang dictionaries i can't find foobie, it isn't in a dictionary of railway terms, or language of the underworld. Could it be derived from the US cartoon character Smokey Storer. who used the word "Foo" as a substitute word for anything where he couldn't be bothered to find the correct word. the manufacturers might be accused of; couldn't be bothered to find the correct prototype. the word Foo was used by the RAAF and Richard Hendricksen was a keen and knowledgeable aviator. 

Why is there a resistance to FUBAR as the origin? One can readily describe a lame model with the words behind that acronym (whichever word starting with "F" you prefer). It has always seemed to me that "foobie" is a natural descendant.

Tony Thompson




Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 02:47 PM, Richard Townsend wrote:
And as you said, Tony, didn't our late resident linguist say 'foobie" was derived from "FUBAR?" That seems pretty authoritative to me.
Because FUBAR is an acronym... and it would have worked just as well as a noun. Stands to reason that since the F and U are important to the message being conveyed, that they would be retained in the new form; FUBEE, or FUBIE, with some descriptive words chosen so the result was still an acronym. Since such is not the case, I'm of the opinion that the origin is a contraction of "fake boobies", since fake is the demeaning idea Sir Richard wanted to convey. It doesn't make any difference if "foobie" never entered the general language; someone would only have to hear it once to latch on to it. Foobie certainly has the sound of the drivel TV writers have been pushing on use for the last sixty or so years.

As Smokey Stover would say, "Where there's foo there's fire!"

Dennis Storzek


Marty McGuirk
 

FUBAR is indeed a Navy expression- dating to at least WWII and is still in use today. Heard it in a meeting yesterday in fact ...
And the Navy context, and I believe Richard’s use of the derivative foobie, has nothing to do with boobies. 

Marty McGuirk




On Feb 23, 2021, at 6:56 PM, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 02:47 PM, Richard Townsend wrote:
And as you said, Tony, didn't our late resident linguist say 'foobie" was derived from "FUBAR?" That seems pretty authoritative to me.
Because FUBAR is an acronym... and it would have worked just as well as a noun. Stands to reason that since the F and U are important to the message being conveyed, that they would be retained in the new form; FUBEE, or FUBIE, with some descriptive words chosen so the result was still an acronym. Since such is not the case, I'm of the opinion that the origin is a contraction of "fake boobies", since fake is the demeaning idea Sir Richard wanted to convey. It doesn't make any difference if "foobie" never entered the general language; someone would only have to hear it once to latch on to it. Foobie certainly has the sound of the drivel TV writers have been pushing on use for the last sixty or so years.

As Smokey Stover would say, "Where there's foo there's fire!"

Dennis Storzek


O Fenton Wells
 

As an old submariner, with diesel exhaust and hydraulic oil still in my system I can attest to that, the we used it on the 'boats' was a little less gentlemanly, I'm afraid.
Just say'in
Fenton

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 7:10 AM Marty McGuirk <mjmcguirk@...> wrote:
FUBAR is indeed a Navy expression- dating to at least WWII and is still in use today. Heard it in a meeting yesterday in fact ...
And the Navy context, and I believe Richard’s use of the derivative foobie, has nothing to do with boobies. 

Marty McGuirk




On Feb 23, 2021, at 6:56 PM, Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:

On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 02:47 PM, Richard Townsend wrote:
And as you said, Tony, didn't our late resident linguist say 'foobie" was derived from "FUBAR?" That seems pretty authoritative to me.
Because FUBAR is an acronym... and it would have worked just as well as a noun. Stands to reason that since the F and U are important to the message being conveyed, that they would be retained in the new form; FUBEE, or FUBIE, with some descriptive words chosen so the result was still an acronym. Since such is not the case, I'm of the opinion that the origin is a contraction of "fake boobies", since fake is the demeaning idea Sir Richard wanted to convey. It doesn't make any difference if "foobie" never entered the general language; someone would only have to hear it once to latch on to it. Foobie certainly has the sound of the drivel TV writers have been pushing on use for the last sixty or so years.

As Smokey Stover would say, "Where there's foo there's fire!"

Dennis Storzek



--
Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
srrfan1401@...


Randy Hammill
 

Except I think that he was using the term long before fake boobies became a common enough thing to spawn the word.

Note that the urban dictionary shows a whole bunch of definitions, and that one isn’t listed as the most recent.

I’ve always thought it was a friendlier variation of FUBAR, and my usage is based on that definition.

Randy
--

Randy Hammill
Prototype Junction
http://prototypejunction.com

Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954
http://newbritainstation.com


Ken O'Brien
 

As an old AF aviator, those expressions were in use back when Jimmy Doolittle was a Captain. Definitely is use in Viet Nam.


Tim O'Connor
 


I agree Tony - I think that is how I understood it the first time I heard it. I'd heard FUBR (beyond repair)
FUBAR (beyond all recognition) variants expressed in Hollywood movies (usually comedies) that I saw on
television as a child although any that explained it always said it meant "fouled up..." - which in those days
was not far from the common  sense of it as used by gentle folk.

Also "foo" itself was widely popular in computer software source code by the 1970's - I never gave it much
thought about how it became so popular but it could certainly have the same origin.


Why is there a resistance to FUBAR as the origin? One can readily describe a lame model with the words behind that acronym (whichever word starting with "F" you prefer). It has always seemed to me that "foobie" is a natural descendant. Tony Thomson
--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Expressing my crusty old fart side . . . (sorry)

 

I am of the opinion that the difference between Fu . . . and Fo . . . UP BEYOND ALL . . .

 

Trending toward the first, is an example of the degeneration of causal speech occurring all through the English speaking people, at least in the US.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

 


I agree Tony - I think that is how I understood it the first time I heard it. I'd heard FUBR (beyond repair)
FUBAR (beyond all recognition) variants expressed in Hollywood movies (usually comedies) that I saw on
television as a child although any that explained it always said it meant "fouled up..." - which in those days
was not far from the common  sense of it as used by gentle folk.

Also "foo" itself was widely popular in computer software source code by the 1970's - I never gave it much
thought about how it became so popular but it could certainly have the same origin.


Why is there a resistance to FUBAR as the origin? One can readily describe a lame model with the words behind that acronym (whichever word starting with "F" you prefer). It has always seemed to me that "foobie" is a natural descendant. Tony Thomson


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Marty McGuirk
 

Couple of thoughts on what is rapidly steaming towards off topic -
1. Other Fouled has a specific meaning on a ship, No self respecting sailor would ever say Fouled Up when he or she meant Fu.... 
2. I enjoyed many conversations with the late Doctor H over the years - and simply can’t imagine him ever saying  “boobie” - in any context. 



On Feb 24, 2021, at 11:35 AM, Schuyler Larrabee via groups.io <schuyler.larrabee@...> wrote:



Expressing my crusty old fart side . . . (sorry)

 

I am of the opinion that the difference between Fu . . . and Fo . . . UP BEYOND ALL . . .

 

Trending toward the first, is an example of the degeneration of causal speech occurring all through the English speaking people, at least in the US.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:24 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Foobie

 


I agree Tony - I think that is how I understood it the first time I heard it. I'd heard FUBR (beyond repair)
FUBAR (beyond all recognition) variants expressed in Hollywood movies (usually comedies) that I saw on
television as a child although any that explained it always said it meant "fouled up..." - which in those days
was not far from the common  sense of it as used by gentle folk.

Also "foo" itself was widely popular in computer software source code by the 1970's - I never gave it much
thought about how it became so popular but it could certainly have the same origin.


Why is there a resistance to FUBAR as the origin? One can readily describe a lame model with the words behind that acronym (whichever word starting with "F" you prefer). It has always seemed to me that "foobie" is a natural descendant. Tony Thomson


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts