= F =
frobnicate /frob'ni-kayt/ vt.
[Poss. derived from
frobnitz, and usually abbreviated to frob, but
`frobnicate' is recognized as the official full form.] To
manipulate or adjust, to tweak. One frequently frobs bits or other
2-state devices. Thus: "Please frob the light switch" (that is,
flip it), but also "Stop frobbing that clasp; you'll break it".
One also sees the construction `to frob a frob'. See tweak
Usage: frob, twiddle, and tweak sometimes connote points along a
continuum. `Frob' connotes aimless manipulation; `twiddle'
connotes gross manipulation, often a coarse search for a proper
setting; `tweak' connotes fine-tuning. If someone is turning a
knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's carefully adjusting it, he is
probably tweaking it; if he is just turning it but looking at the
screen, he is probably twiddling it; but if he's just doing it
because turning a knob is fun, he's frobbing it. The variant
`frobnosticate' has been recently reported.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.