Can anyone tell me what the suffix “‑fu” stands for in the following sentence?

If you want to take advantage of some other Spring-fu, like some of its aspect-oriented features, then you’ll need to use this heavy-handed, direct object management technique.


It stands for "(advanced) skill". There are lots of similar constructions, such as "Script-Fu", "Google-Fu", and so on. Wiktionary has an article on the suffix -fu:

From kung-fu

1. (slang) Expertise; mastery.

  • My google-fu is weak!
  • Aragorn uses Ranger-fu to figure out that Sam and Frodo have taken a boat.
  • I don't think that Spring (as a Java library) can have skills, expertise, or mastery. I guess, this use only works in your examples, as the -fu is an attribute of the subject, whereas in Liu's example, it relates to Spring.
    – malach
    Sep 21 '10 at 15:30
  • 7
    @Ralph Reckenbach: Spring-fu means mastery of the library. So if you have mastered using Spring you have Spring-fu. Sep 21 '10 at 18:07
  • @regdwight how about saying I have a weakness for Google-fuing everything instead of my google-fu is weak! Dec 8 '16 at 13:17
  • or google-fu is my primary strength. Somehow google-fu does not sound as good as I am "a pro data scientist" or "I am a pro data engineer", I am a "pro internet researcher" Dec 8 '16 at 13:20

Like many idioms with little historical depth, the use of -fu has more to do with cultural themes than grammatical construction and meaning. The pseudo-word "Spring-fu" is a construction meant to allegorically refer to kung-fu that endows the scripting language Spring with the mysticism and complexity of a martial art --- something that requires dedication to master and has hidden benefits ("really cool ju-ju") if mastered. Consequently, the current definitions of the suffix -fu are inadequate to describe the cultural use of the suffix in this evolving context.

  • 2
    What does this add to the accepted answer, and where is your research?
    – MetaEd
    Apr 26 '13 at 4:12

Fu in Chinese means blessing or good fortune. Here it would be something like a great feature of the Java library Spring.


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