I liked that movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” but I was pretty sure that they made up the term FUBAR for the movie. (“Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition”) No, it so happens that the term was coined in 1942 in North Africa by American soldiers as part of a new, acronymic vocabulary to describe the new situations in which they found themselves.
It started with “SNAFU,” of course. (“Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”) It went on to include not only FUBAR, but also:
SUSFU: “Situation Unchanged, Still Fucked UP”
SAFU: “Self-Adjusting Fuck-Up”
TARFU: “Things Are Really Fucked Up”
FUMTU: “Fucked Up More Than Usual”
JANFU: “Joint Army-Navy Fuck-Up”
JAAFU: “Joint Anglo-American Fuck-Up”
FUAFUP: “Fucked Up And Fucked Up Proper”
The citizen-soldiers were in fact mocking the acronym-mad culture of the military in general, where “Command, Submarine, Pacific,” was reduced to COMSUBPAC. That’s my opinion anyway, even though I don’t think COMSUBPAC is technically an acronym.
Source: “The Day of Battle,” by Rick Atkinson, page 36.