Fred N. 1. The Personal Name Most Frequently Used As A Metasyntactic Variable (see Foo).

HomeFortune CookiesJargon File

fred n.

1. The personal name most frequently used as a
metasyntactic variable (see foo). Allegedly popular
because it's easy for a non-touch-typist to type on a standard
QWERTY keyboard. In Great Britain, `fred', `jim' and `sheila' are
common metasyntactic variables because their uppercase versions
were official names given to the 3 memory areas that held
I/O status registers on the lovingly-remembered BBC Microcomputer!
(It is reported that SHEILA was poked the most often.) Unlike
J. Random Hacker or `J. Random Loser', the name `fred' has
no positive or negative loading (but see Dr. Fred Mbogo).
See also barney. 2. An acronym for `Flipping Ridiculous
Electronic Device'; other F-verbs may be substituted for