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rj: Did you know that the 'potrzebie' first appeared in [noted computer scientist] Donald Knuth's first published work?

Well, geez. You must be referring to the famous 1957 article, The Potrzebie System of Weights and Measures, written by one Donald Knuth. I actually remember the furshlugginer thing, and I even remember showing it to my teacher and asking him about it.

If Wikipedia speaks truth, then Knuth picked it up from several earlier articles in the same revered journal -- which I read from cover to cover every month. Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) claims that it was first used in April 1954, in response to a reader's furshlugginer question.

Another font of knowledge traces the word to its original Polish, in which it means something needed (potrzeba).

As long as it's properly mashugga, what should I care?

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