= F =
frobnitz /frob'nits/, pl. `frobnitzem' /frob'nit-zm/ or
`frobni' /frob'ni:/ n.
[TMRC] An unspecified physical
object, a widget. Also refers to electronic black boxes. This
rare form is usually abbreviated to `frotz', or more commonly to
frob. Also used are `frobnule' (/frob'n[y]ool/) and
`frobule' (/frob'yool/). Starting perhaps in 1979, `frobozz'
/fr*-boz'/ (plural: `frobbotzim' /fr*-bot'zm/) has also
become very popular, largely through its exposure as a name via
Zork. These variants can also be applied to nonphysical
objects, such as data structures. For related amusement, see
Pete Samson, compiler of the original TMRC lexicon, adds,
"Under the TMRC [railroad] layout were many storage boxes, managed
(in 1958) by David R. Sawyer. Several had fanciful designations
written on them, such as `Frobnitz Coil Oil'. Perhaps DRS intended
Frobnitz to be a proper name, but the name was quickly taken for
the thing". This was almost certainly the origin of the
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.