Foo was here

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"Foo was here" graffiti figure

"Foo was here" is an Australian graffiti signature of popular culture, especially known for its use during World War I, but also became popular among Australian schoolchildren of post-war generations.

Foo (or Mr Chad) is shown as a bald-headed man (sometimes depicted with a few hairs) peering over a wall (usually with three fingers from each hand appearing to clutch over the wall as well), with the simple inscription "Foo was here".

Digger History, the Unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services, says of Foo that "He was chalked on the side of railway carriages, appeared in probably every camp that the 1st AIF World War I served in and generally made his presence felt".[1] If this is the case, then "Foo was here" predates the American version of World War II, "Kilroy was here", by about 25 years.

It has been claimed that "Foo" probably came from the acronym for Forward Observation Officer, but this is likely to be a backronym.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions", diggerhistory.info. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ "foo", catb.org. Retrieved 10 February 2017.