Exact Duplicate:
Can anyone tell me what the suffix “-fu” stands for in the following sentence?

I was reading an article on MSDN where I found a mention to google-fu. It says, “To search for C++ delimeters and code snippets is going to take a little Google-fu on the reader's part.” what does google-fu mean?

  • MSDN could have done better by saying Pro Google search skills instead of referencing the ancient martial arts in this context and saying google-fu. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 13:23
  • Think of this statement "I am google-**fuing C**++ delimiters and code snippets" Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 13:23

4 Answers 4


Google-fu is defined as "skill in using search engines (especially Google) to quickly find useful information on the Internet."

It is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to kung-fu, which is generally perceived as requiring a high degree of skill to master in the western hemisphere.

In the example sentence you provided, the author is suggesting that the expected results are somewhat difficult to attain and you will need to use diligence when searching.

I used a bit of Google-fu to research this answer.

  • thank you for answer. so i can replace with "skill"?
    – katie
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 19:02
  • Absolutely - skill is one alternative, also see diligence.
    – HaL
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 19:04
  • 1
    @rahul - proficency might be closer
    – mgb
    Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 4:24

It means “mastery of Google” or “Googling skill”. It is modelled after kung fu:

kung fu (noun): a primarily unarmed Chinese martial art resembling karate.
ORIGIN from Chinese gōngfú, from gōng ‘merit’ + fú ‘master.’


It's a pormanteau of "Google" and "Kung-Fu," meaning to have high skill or art.

  • 1
    I don't believe it's exactly a portmanteau: see above, the Chinese word reportedly has meaning in itself. A portmanteau is made from parts that don't have standalone meaning, doesn't it?
    – F'x
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 19:00
  • 4
    In this case it is because it doesn't matter what the Chinese "fu" means - in English it is meaningless outside of the entire term.
    – The Raven
    Commented Apr 8, 2011 at 7:25

Google fu is a slightly jokey term referring to the ability to utilise google's search functionality better than your average user.

urban dictionary

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.