Friday, July 10, 2009


A writer friend went to BEA (Book Expo of America) a few years ago and brought back a souvenir. She’d saved it for just the right person. I’d been wondering what it possibly could be since she mentioned it to me at Operation Tie a Yellow Ribbon. Yesterday I got her package--a dog tag with “FUBAR” on one side and “WWII slang” on the other side. For those of you who don’t know military acronyms, “FUBAR” means Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

I work for the military and should have immediately known what it meant, but my memory isn’t what it used to be. Once I realized, I hung it on my rearview mirror. Although I’m not what you’d call a follower of rules, I can relate to FUBAR in more ways than its original intention, which is basically to be quickly understood in difficult circumstances.

I also have an appreciation and admiration for soldiers and what they do. Somewhere along the line I must have picked up my father’s fascination with military uniforms and memorabilia. It was so easy when I had to wear a uniform to work. In a way it’s nice to fit in, like a herd of indistinguishable cattle. Where I work there’s a dress code that forbids jeans (except on dress down Fridays), and that’s just about all I own. In fact, not too long ago my boss came in to tell me that I couldn’t wear “those kind of jeans.” It was a Friday. I was wearing my “holey” designer jeans where the holes are placed strategically to look cool. So, when my boss said that, well, it kind of made me laugh because those holes cost me a couple hundred bucks. In many ways it’d be much better for me to have a uniform to wear to work.

If you’re curious about other interesting military (slang) acronyms, here’s a list:

DILLIGAS - Do I Look Like I Give A Shit
DILLIGAF - Do I Look Like I Give A Fuck
FIDO - Fuck It-Drive On
FIFI - Fuck It-Fly It
FNG - Fucking New Guy (used for all new people in a squad)
FUBISO - Fuck You Buddy, I'm Shipping Out
FUMTU - Fucked Up More Than Usual
JAFO - Just Another Fucking Observer (guy who sits in the back of the vehicle)
JANFU - Joint Army-Navy Fuck Up
LLMF - Lost Like a Mother Fucker
SNAFU - Situation Normal: All Fucked Up
SNAFUBAR - Situation Normal: All Fucked Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition/Reason
SOL - Shit Out of Luck
SRDH - Shit Rolls Down Hill
SSDD - Same Shit, Different Day
SUSFU - Situation Unchanged, Still Fucked Up
TARFU - Things Are Really Fucked Up, or Totally and Royally Fucked Up
Charlie Foxtrot - From the phonetic alphabet letters C and F, meaning Cluster Fuck

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