What's the origin of "narf-farbling"?

So I came across this word on a separate meta post, and LOVED it, having never heard it before. So I googled:

Two. results.

One of which being the page I just came from. Both from a user with the handle Marthaª. What a coinkidink.

So while I'm still absolutely curious where Martha came up with narf-farbling, the more meta question is, is it appropriate to ask a question on EL&U directed at a single user?

  • 3
    You could ask them on chat, but otherwise, no. Mar 19 '15 at 12:25

Etiquette suggests that it is not appropriate to name users, but it depends on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, I would avoid doing so unless you wanted to compliment the person, which you've done in this case. :)

Concerning narf-farbling it's not necessary to name the person but you might want to add a link directing users to how the word is used, which will make it counter-productive!

Who would benefit from the question? If there are only two results for narf-farbling how could users possibly contribute with their "answers"?

What would your question be? Would you ask about its origins? Then you need to ask its creator! Would you ask for people's opinions as to whether we should adopt this expression in our everyday lives, then the question will be closed as being primarily opinion-based aka, POB.

One way your question could be on topic would be to (1.) ask about the origins of "narf" and "farbling" (2.) ask for other similar compounds with either narf or farble.

However, I don't see how a post asking about a specific (and such a unique) neologism could generate quality answers. But you could try looking at questions tagged neologism for ideas.

  • +1 thx for your very good suggestions re: neologisms. but the general question mostly remains. (although: this might be the only case in which it applies.)
    – Erich
    Mar 19 '15 at 7:31
  • also, i've updated the title appropriately.
    – Erich
    Mar 19 '15 at 7:32
  • 1
    I see the only two instances of the usage are from the same person, but that I as a native speaker had no problem inferring the intended meaning (generic term for "performing complex activity, fiddling about", etc.). So I thought I'd try inventing one of my own. My first attempt, flob-dobbing, turns out to have been used twice already! Google really does index just about everything! :) Mar 19 '15 at 19:23

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