foobar = F = fool file

fool n.

As used by hackers, specifically describes a person who habitually reasons from obviously or demonstrably incorrect premises and cannot be persuaded by evidence to do otherwise; it is not generally used in its other senses, i.e., to describe a person with a native incapacity to reason correctly, or a clown. Indeed, in hackish experience many fools are capable of reasoning all too effectively in executing their errors. See also cretin, loser, fool file.

The Algol 68-R compiler used to initialize its storage to the character string "F00LF00LF00LF00L..." because as a pointer or as a floating point number it caused a crash, and as an integer or a character string it was very recognizable in a dump. Sadly, one day a very senior professor at Nottingham University wrote a program that called him a fool. He proceeded to demonstrate the correctness of this assertion by lobbying the university (not quite successfully) to forbid the use of Algol on its computers. See also DEADBEEF.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

As the name would suggest, the role of the Fool in Morris dancing is a playful one. Rather than being in the Morris team itself, the Fool weaves in and out of the dance, cavorting, clowning, and shouting to the audience. His antics mask his true purpose: to act as a barker and to collect bag money. This, of course, is a cynical view of the Fool, and many Morris afficionados would loudly protest that the Fool serves the simple purpose of reminding the audience (quite vocally) that it is "OK to have fun."

The Fool generally wears an outlandish costume similar to what we now know as one worn by the Robin Hood character (though traditionally known as Jack in the Green or the Green Man). His instrument of choice is frequently a pig's bladder on a stick, which he wields to keep both the dancers and the audience well-behaved. While it may appear that the role is ideally suited to a beginning or inexperienced Morris dancer, this is not the case. The Fool requires an extensive and intimate knowledge of every dance so that his pratfalls and buffoonery do not interfere in any way with the intricate movements of the dancers. The Fool must weave through the side gracefully, and occasionally is called upon to replace a dancer forced to leave. Given the number of flamboyant kicks and hops, the extensive waving of white hankerchiefs, and violent bashing of sticks in Moriss dancing, this is no small task. In fact, a good deal of the audience's enjoyment is due to the continual danger of the Fool being hit in the head with a flying stick.

Some surmise that the Fool is a remnant of pagan fertility myths (which were subsequently incorporated into Christianity): in the closely related "Sword Dance", the Fool is ritually "killed" in a ring of swords and then resurrected (to the delight of the crowd). This is frequently performed in the spring, with all the attendant associations of rebirth, natural growth, and fertility. Some Morris dances contain trace elements of the Eucharist, with the Fool becoming a "Cake and Sword Bearer", offering small pieces of cake upon a sword to all onlookers, and symbolizing a piece of the dance to be taken home for good luck.

Fool is Christopher Moore's newest piece of fiction. It is vulgar. Profane. Obscene. Downright dirty. And, if you like that sort of thing, it's hilarious.

The novel, which began as a musing discussion over lunch with his editor, is a bastardized version (that's really punny, you know) of Shakespeare's King Lear. In the style of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the remake is bawdier, sillier, and much more entertaining than the original. Moore takes quite a few liberties with setting, language, and style, but then, so did Old Bill. To stymie critics, Fool contains quotes from at least a dozen of Shakespeare's plays and even includes the witches from MacBeth. Incidentally, Christopher Moore mentions at the book's end that it pays tribute to all of his favorite comedic British authors.

Told from the point of view of Lear's jester, Pocket of Dog Snogging, Fool takes the murder, madness, and intrigue of Lear and blows it out of the water. It is non-stop comedy of a sharp and rather perverted nature. The plot is twisty-turvy, the word play is savvy, and the characters are lovable and fun. I wouldn't go so far as to say you should brush up on Lear beforehand, but memory of the play couldn't hurt.

I can't say enough about Moore's latest. In the past, I have recommended Lamb to anyone looking for a fun read. If you've never read Christopher Moore's work, that's still a fabulous place to start. But if you enjoy him (picture a darker, wittier Dave Barry), and don't mind about 200 pages of sex jokes, you'll love Fool.

I am a fool
A buffoon
I fall over my son's shoes
Wondering why they are lying
In front of the door
Not once but twice

My mind is lost
In the wilds
Of thought, speculation and memory
The picture drops from the wall
I'm not even home
Kids call me
To say what happened
We clean it up
Yet I forget
And my sister cuts her foot
I didn't warn her

I understand why saints and mystics
Sometimes seem crazy
Angels hover near
The tips of their wings
Brush distant galaxies
But I am a mom
The kids need dinner now
I drop a plate
Clumsy fool
In spite of angels
I am grounded

Fool (?), n. [Cf. F. fouler to tread, crush. Cf. 1st Foil.]

A compound of gooseberries scalded and crushed, with cream; -- commonly called gooseberry fool.


© Webster 1913.

Fool, n. [OE. fol, n. & adj., F. fol, fou, foolish, mad; a fool, prob. fr. L. follis a bellows, wind bag, an inflated ball; perh. akin to E. bellows. Cf. Folly, Follicle.]


One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural.


A person deficient in intellect; one who acts absurdly, or pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom; one without judgment; a simpleton; a dolt.

Extol not riches, then, the toil of fools. Milton.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. Franklin.

3. Script.

One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Ps. xiv. 1.


One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments.

Can they think me . . . their fool or jester? Milton.

April fool, Court fool, etc. See under April, Court, etc. -- Fool's cap, a cap or hood to which bells were usually attached, formerly worn by professional jesters. -- Fool's errand, an unreasonable, silly, profitless adventure or undertaking. -- Fool's gold, iron or copper pyrites, resembling gold in color. -- Fool's paradise, a name applied to a limbo (see under Limbo) popularly believed to be the region of vanity and nonsense. Hence, any foolish pleasure or condition of vain self-satistaction. -- Fool's parsley Bot., an annual umbelliferous plant (Aethusa Cynapium) resembling parsley, but nauseous and poisonous. -- To make a fool of, to render ridiculous; to outwit; to shame. [Colloq.] -- To play the fool, to act the buffoon; to act a foolish part. "I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly." 1 Sam. xxvi. 21.


© Webster 1913.

Fool, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Fooled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Fooling.]

To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth.

<-- = to fool around -->

Is this a time for fooling? Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

Fool, v. t.


To infatuate; to make foolish.


For, fooled with hope, men favor the deceit. Dryden.


To use as a fool; to deceive in a shameful or mortifying manner; to impose upon; to cheat by inspiring foolish confidence; as, to fool one out of his money.

You are fooled, discarded, and shook off By him for whom these shames ye underwent. Shak.

To fool away, to get rid of foolishly; to spend in trifles, idleness, folly, or without advantage.


© Webster 1913.

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