What does SNAFU mean?

Situation normal, all fouled up


SNAFU is a quick way to refer to an error or problem that has arisen and is causing issues with a current plan or situation. People typically use it as a noun (e.g., your boss may complain about a newly hired employee, saying, "If he makes another snafu, we're going to have to cut him loose"). Additionally, people may sometimes use cruder words instead of "fouled."

Origin of SNAFU

The acronym was popularized as military slang (along with FUBAR) during World War II (1940s) as American soldiers (and some officers) used it to describe the madness of warfare as a normal state (often sarcastically) when prompted for a status report. It then entered the greater lexicon as journalists used it, and civilians adopted it to describe things causing problems in their more mundane lives.


That last game was just a big snafu. Hopefully, we'll do better next time
X post about a tax snafu
X post about a tax snafu

Related Slang


Updated March 21, 2024

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