= W =
waldo /wol'doh/ n.
[From Robert A. Heinlein's story
"Waldo"] 1. A mechanical agent, such as a gripper arm,
controlled by a human limb. When these were developed for the
nuclear industry in the mid-1940s they were named after the
invention described by Heinlein in the story, which he wrote in
1942. Now known by the more generic term `telefactoring', this
technology is of intense interest to NASA for tasks like space
station maintenance. 2. At Harvard (particularly by Tom Cheatham
and students), this is used instead of foobar as a
metasyntactic variable and general nonsense word. See foo,
bar, foobar, quux.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.