Word of the Day Archive
Saturday May 11, 2013
snafu \sna-FOO, SNAF-oo\
1. a badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation: A ballot snafu in the election led to a recount.
1. Rare. in disorder; out of control; chaotic: a snafu scheme that simply won't work.
1. Rare. to throw into disorder; muddle: Losing his passport snafued the whole vacation.
There was no snafu in the five-year plan. There was a deliberate strategy of recycling very-low-grade nuclear waste in building materials.
-- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections, 2001
He'd say it was a snafu, by no means the first, from what I hear. Anyway, no sense in making a fuss.
-- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin, 2000
Snafu is a neologism that originated as an acronym for "s(ituation) n(ormal): a(ll) f(ouled) u(p)." During World War II, soldiers used the phrase to describe the general disorder of war.