What does the term ‘FUBAR’ mean?
(Credit: Netflix)


What does the term ‘FUBAR’ mean?

The latest Netflix spy-comedy series FUBAR featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro does not involve a lot of high-octane action, even though fans of The Terminator might expect some cinematic violence from the former governor of California. Although fans of Schwarzenegger’s action movies may find the lack of explosions disappointing, it provides an opportunity for him to showcase his comedic talents.

The story revolves around Luke Brunner, a retiring CIA agent played by Schwarzenegger, who is forced to mentor his daughter Emma (played by Monica Barbaro) while keeping their spy work separate from their family life.

Towards the end of the series, the situation escalates when the terrorist exposes Luke and Emma’s identities to all their enemies, making them and their loved ones immediate targets. In this critical moment, Luke exclaims that the situation is “Totally FUBAR!” It is the only time the title of the show is referenced in the show. The punchline accurately describes the mess Luke finds himself in. But the title of the show itself has led to many scratching their heads.

But, what does FUBAR mean?

The term FUBAR originated during WWII and refers to situations, events, or individuals that have been irreparably messed up. It is an acronym that stands for Fucked/Fouled Up Beyond All Repair/Recognition. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest citation for FUBAR can be found in Yank, the Army Weekly magazine (1944, 7 Jan. p. 8) as its earliest citation. The term found its place in the lexicon of management consultants and became a commonly used phrase among them, especially in the 1970s.

It gained popularity as a catchphrase in films like Tango & Cash (1989) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). FUBAR captures the essence of the concept, depicting a world where chaos reigns and the characters must navigate through unpredictable situations constantly.