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Thread: Where did the word "frob" come from?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Malmö, Sweden

    Where did the word "frob" come from?

    I know the origin of the word "taffer" but I´m curious about "frob" (it´s a great word, everyone here know exactly what you mean when you use it!). Is it used in other games?

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: May 2002

    Re: Frob

    Frob is short for "frobnicate" and is an online MUD expression.

    Basically, it's a throwaway term for a number of "action" commands (take/push/throw item, turn lever, press button, etc.)

    There's a more detailled explanation here.

    HTH

  3. #3
    Sneaky1Kenobi
    Guest
    It's a verb, it's a noun, it's Frobberman!

    To frob - verb

    a frob - noun

    Frobber - person!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    Sneaky1Kenobi.....that's a cool nick.

    Garrett.....ummm err


    SlyFoxx

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Tampa
    i believe it originated from the old British expression "Frob your knob"...

    This is because Garret is often "frobbing knobs" to gain access to unauthorized entry passages in his dark, midnight adventures.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2000
    x94 sounds like he's got it - frobnicate shortenned to frob is a real word. At least it shows up on the internet at dictionary.com

    Definition at dictionary.com

    Early game-design geeks picked it up, and LGS took it from there.

    The long form of frobber BTW is frobberclepstealorgraborrobberate
    Last edited by frobber; 18th Jul 2002 at 13:49.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: NYC
    ok... so now we know where frob comes from - what about taffer?

    Enlighten me

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Malmö, Sweden
    This is from a FAQ by Taffer for Thief Gold , found at www .gamefaqs.com:



    3.10: Just What The Heck Is A Taffer Anyway?
    ============================================
    This is a question I am sure many Thief fans have asked countless times. I
    received a few emails regarding this, and here is what I've derived from them:

    There is a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that contains the line(s), "Taffy was a
    Welshman, Taffy was a thief". "Taffy" is a slang name for a Welshman.

    At least one other person has suggested to me that "Taffer" is a dilution of
    "Trickster", much like in modern English "Darn" is a dilution of "Damn", and
    "Heck" is a dilution of "Hell".

    Someone wrote in to suggest that "Taffer" was merely a censoring word, that
    could be replaced with any appropriate expletive. (Or perhaps more likely, a
    sort of "medieval cuss-word", as he put it.)

    I've been informed that in Suffolk, England, there is a verb, "to taff", which
    means "to spit". So a Taffer would be a Spitter.

    Apparently there is some point in the game (which I have either missed or not
    yet gotten to), where a Hammerite makes reference to the fact that "Taffer" and
    "Trickster" are synonymous.


    3.10.1: The True Meaning Of "Taffer"
    ====================================
    Lastly, someone sent me an email with the following information:

    "I got this one from PC Accelerator. They interviewed Steve Pearsall,
    project designer of Thief. The question, "What is a Taffer and where did it
    come from?" The Answer, "One of our level designers, Laura Baldwin, made it up.
    Taffer was meant to be a slang word that meant a common criminal, but has
    evolved into meaning any sort of low life." So basically it is a fictitious
    word. Hey, maybe it will become real if we use it enough."

    So there you have it. I'll bet the people over at Looking Glass Studios have
    been having a nice chuckle watching everyone go crazy and coming up with these
    (admittedly inventive) possible meanings/origins of a word they made up!

    Be sure you all use this word everyday! I want to see it in the next edition of
    Webster's Dictionary!







    So there. But you can always speculate what made it enter Laura´s subconcious mind.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Looking Glass Interviews - Laura Baldwin talks about the word "taffer"

    Here's an AMAZING podcast - a set of interviews with Looking Glass employees. This bit is where they talk about Taffer. Listen to them all! AMAZING!

    Looking Glass Studios - Interview Series
    Audio Podcast 3 - Tim Stellmach and Laura Baldwin

    https://youtu.be/02agCNRnp7E?t=1218


    There's 10 episodes in total... all are recommended!

  10. #10
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    This may also be relevant to your interests:
    The term Frob is a noun or verb (sometimes frobnicate) that has typically been used to refer to any small device or object which can be manipulated, or frobbed.

    The term can refer both to the object being frobbed ("Hand me that frob there, willya?") indicating the manipulation of a frob or as an actual verb ("Hey, frob the switch.") indicating actual frobbing of an object.

    It was adopted by the community of computer programmers which grew out of the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club in the 1950s.

    Frob is among the oldest existing words in hacker jargon, as reported in the Jargon File.

    In Zork, the element exists in names such as Froblo Park, Frobwit, Frobesius Fublius, Froboz Mumbar and Frobozz.
    [edit]Holy thread necromancy, Batman! [/edit]

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i know when thief first came out i did not hear it ,but maybe 2 years later it was common to hear,in my view its a way to say to the player you talking to ,when you get to this point from it,meaning right click it,as the idea of highlighted items in a game to manipulate in my view at that time was newer for the masses who who starting to dive into pc games

    another example is a person tells another person well i went to that area and frobed the hell out of it and nothing happened,then the other person will say something like,well you have to frob the upper left underside while pressing against the right wall lol


    also if the word is used by itself it means to frob with no item in use,other wise they would have to say what item to use with the frob

    the word itself is i think finesse but rob is common sense finesse -rob,in simple terms a light touch


    as no one say saying from back in the doom days

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    This may also be relevant to your interests:

    [edit]Holy thread necromancy, Batman! [/edit]
    And on the heels of that, holy unintelligible post, Batman. Good lord. Downwinder, you should really re-read your posts before pressing the "Submit" button (although I have my doubts that will make a difference).

    U go on roof I sayin German.

  13. #13
    Master Builder 2018
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    U go on roof I sayin German.
    LOL! I haven't thought about that in a long time.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Malmö, Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by downwinder View Post
    meaning right click it
    That's the default setting, isn't it? I changed those more than a decade ago and have always saved my bindings file. For me, right-click is jump/mantle (to make it easier to make running jumps - having run and jump on two different hands). Frob is done with the 'v' key.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    the reason what i say is not understandable,is cause most of you believe complete bullshit so when the truth is staring you in the face,and you are oblivious to the truth,but all good,i still got love for you all

  16. #16
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Dragonsreach
    Understandability has naught to do with truthiness, and everything to do with presentation.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    ty yandros for the words,but people have to learn how to understand many ways more then what is good for them,this is a big world and if i am able to understand most i don't see why on here it would be different,unless you all come from benny's bloodline after a stop to the tavern :P

  18. #18
    Zombified
    Registered: Sep 2004
    claiming to understand the most of the world is very bold.

    also, ever heard of Sturgeon's law?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2012
    I really have not got a clue what your on about downwinder, but I haven't had such a good laugh for ages......please keep it up
    Last edited by fortuni; 4th Apr 2017 at 17:53.

  20. #20
    The purpose of language is to create a method of communication so everyone can understand what is attempting to be conveyed. The standard language for this forum is English.

    If everyone just created and communicated in their own personal language all the time, no one would be able to understand each other and discussion would die.

    It's pure arrogance to expect others to conform to your own "language" when you know perfectly well how to communicate in theirs. Try visiting a foreign country and see how far you get speaking "downwinderish."
    Last edited by Brethren; 31st Aug 2015 at 18:35.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    brethern to prove your point wrong,lets look at the pagans,they use a non standerd way to communicate but yet you don't see boards saying omg i cant understand what those crazy pagans are saying :P
    '

    point proven



    hugs for you all and hope you all having a amazing monday


    and about Sturgeon's law ,when internet came out the level of bullshit rose up to a all time high so the law became true agian,for how long i dont know,but as of this moment in time,more then 90% of everything is completly made-up

    kinda like how it was ok to eat eggs ,then it was bad to have them,then it was good to have them,i think you see my point

  22. #22
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by downwinder View Post
    the reason what i say is not understandable,is cause most of you believe complete bullshit so when the truth is staring you in the face,and you are oblivious to the truth,but all good,i still got love for you all
    No, it's because your spelling and grammar is consistently horrific. I always assumed you were from China or Serbia or something until I noticed your location.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: CT, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    No, it's because your spelling and grammar are consistently horrific. I always assumed you were from China or Serbia or somewhere until I noticed your location.
    Because we all know what a stickler you are for correction.

    Can't find Southern, California on the map. Where is it near?

  24. #24
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Wrong. "Spelling and grammar" can take "is" when considered as a singular concept.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Planet Crazy Pants
    Quote Originally Posted by Dahenjo View Post
    Can't find Southern, California on the map. Where is it near?
    For the time being, Southern California is also known as "Mexico"

    and as for the rest of you guys, this was supposed to be a thread on "frob" not a demo thread on what taffers you all can be.

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