How did that word "Cyberfoo" get coined, anyway?


In mid 1994, Maria Syndicus and Tom Igoe were looking for venues for the "WELL event for First Night". They went to a number of coffehouses and the like in Boston, and Maria came up with the phrase "Multimedia interactive virtual reality internet cyberfoo" to describe what we wanted to do. It's a silly phrase, but it provided some welcome comic relief, so it stuck as our working title.
But let's back-form it. The "Cyber" probably comes from Norbert Weiner's "Cybernetics", which comes from the Greek "kyber", steersman. "Foo" probably comes from "FUBAR", an acronym for the colorful phrase describing something that is quite broken. Later, in computer circles, foo became a generic name for [stuff], as in "copy foo.txt C:" So, perhaps fortuitously, Cyberfoo means "steer your own stuff". We kinda like that idea.
BACK to the cyberfoo home page.