The English words foo, bar and baz are often used as placeholder nonsense names in programming. In French, "toto, titi, tata, tutu" are common.

Which words are used for this purpose in German code?

To clarify: Although company-local traditions are interesting, that's not what I'm asking about.

  • 8
    This reminds me of an April-Fools joke, where Microsoft introduces G# (German Sharp), a C# implementation with German keywords ;) May 27, 2011 at 11:14
  • 4
    Better an April-Fools joke than the foolish German VBA they really created.
    – bernd_k
    May 27, 2011 at 13:03
  • 4
    Mein Vorschlag für eine (mehr oder weniger) akkurate Übersetzung wäre Zeug, Kneipe und Bartholomäus. ;-)
    – deceze
    May 27, 2011 at 14:09
  • 1
    @deceze: Das erinnert mich an eine Situation vor ein paar Monaten. Hatte mit einem Kollegen für einen Kunden eine Software mehr oder weniger fertig. Er hatte mir dann noch per IM eine Codezeile geschickt, die ungefähr aussah wie ... Get(b). Nun macht mein Instant-Messenger aus (b) natürlich ein Bierglas... Den Screenshot davon haben wir dem Kunden dann in der Mitteilung, dass alle Fehler behoben seien und offenbar auch der Code selbst dieser Meinung sei, mitgeschickt ;) May 27, 2011 at 21:52
  • 3
    Random Wikipedia connection: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasyntaktische_Variable
    – Debilski
    Jun 12, 2011 at 2:00

9 Answers 9


Since programming is often deeply connected with the English language, I guess many if not most people use foo, bar, etc. too.

However there is of course blub and blubber or at my company blurbs, blurbsi, blubberhupps and the like are hot. It's sort of a local meme.

  • 6
    Yeah, foo*/*bar is fine. I often use bla and blub as well. Or even blablabla etc. :P
    – poke
    May 27, 2011 at 10:54
  • 4
    +1 for blubberhupps. May 27, 2011 at 10:55
  • 4
    user of bla(bla) and blub(b) here, too!
    – ladybug
    May 27, 2011 at 11:00
  • 5
    +1 I also use foo and bar, and sometimes bla and blubb.
    – mru
    Jun 12, 2011 at 9:16
  • "many, if not most": nope. foo and bar are a red flag for me when reviewing and never get a pass. Because. :) Aug 10, 2015 at 12:34

You could go with dings–bums, dingens–kirchens, bla–blubb–blafasel. But if we are talking about programming context, then I wager the English placeholders foo and bar are the most popular by far.

  • 4
    +1 for dingsbums, great word :)
    – Sebastian
    Jun 2, 2011 at 11:35
  • 1
    I use "bla" and "blubb", too. Additionally "laber", which can be extended to "laber-sülz", e.g. for testing Umlaut capabilities.
    – Landei
    Mar 2, 2012 at 19:08

Bla is sometimes used. And Blub if you need a second. But since the actual code language is typically English, not German, you can use the same as in English. In my company, however, you'll find a suspicious amount of bunny in code... Everybody likes bunnies.

I hate the use of foo, bar, baz, by the way. Better think of real examples. Now that I think about it, I rarely encountered German examples with foo, bar and baz. May be coincedence though.

  • Yes, when reading code (and trying to understand it), usage of foo doesn't really help. Jun 5, 2011 at 21:54

All German Programmers I know use foo / bar. So do I, most of the time, but my own private variation is:

Nase, Hase, Vase, Blase (etc.)

  • +1: You got me at Hase. May 27, 2011 at 21:48
  • Das ist gut, werde ich in Zukunft auch verwenden. :-) Mar 27, 2013 at 22:21

A friend has told me that his professor extensively used “wilde” (= “wild”) and “wutz” (= diminutive of “boar”, “pig”) as metasyntactic variables. To this day, these are my favourites.

  • 3
    Wilde Wutz? Oo +1 May 27, 2011 at 13:15
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    +1, although Wutz is not a diminutive, but rather a word of its own right ;)
    – Jan
    Apr 1, 2015 at 16:02

This is not representative, but my first variable of choice is always "willi", followed by "otto" and then "franz"


Ich nehm eene, meene, miste. Kommt glaub ich aus der Augsburger Puppenkiste. "Eene, meene, miste, es rappelt in der Kiste ...". Bedeutet, soweit ich weiß, in etwa das gleiche wie foo bar baz. :-)

  • 6
    Ne, das "eene meene miste" entstammt der "Rappelkiste", einer ZDF-Kleinkindersendung aus den 70er Jahren im Kielwasser der Sesamstraße, siehe fernsehserien.de/index.php?serie=555.
    – Ray
    Nov 16, 2011 at 16:31

Muh, lala and bum, of course.


I once worked on a project where the temporary or test variables were always called Hugo. Don't know though if anyone else uses it.

  • 1
    I know KarlHugo, paired with Klarabella. Don't ask. May 27, 2011 at 11:13
  • @OregonGhost: Mikki kommt mal her?
    – ogerard
    Jun 21, 2011 at 19:41
  • @ogerard: Maybe I misunderstand you, but shouldn't Klarabella be paired with Rudi Ross in that case, since it's Klarabella Kuh? ;) Jun 21, 2011 at 19:42
  • Wahrscheinlich waren die Variablen alle für den Hugo. :-)
    – celtschk
    Oct 21, 2012 at 12:49

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