Last modified on 20 June 2014, at 08:05




Unknown. Various unlikely theories derive it from "fucked up, got ambushed, zipped in [a body bag]" (if this is not simply a backronym), French fougasse (land mine) or English fugacious. Derivation from an Italian word *fugazi (fake) is sometimes suggested, but no such word exists in Italian.




  1. (slang, chiefly military, especially during the Vietnam era) Fucked up; broken, damaged beyond repair.
    • 1984, Marc Olden, Giri, page 74:
      The two of them were getting bombed on bami-bam, beer, and joints laced with opium. That made answers to questions a long time in coming. "Hey, man, what the fuck can I tell you," said Robbie finally. "All fugazi over here. All fucked up. Number ten. The worst. Don't matter what goes down in this asshole country, know what I mean? Hey, papa-san, don't believe everything you hear, okay?"
    • 1986, Mark Baker, Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought, page 32:
      We didn't know anything was fugazi* until we got to a certain place in the South China Sea. A loudspeaker came over the air, "This is your captain speaking. Be advised that your destination is Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam."
    • 2008, Audrey Shafer, The Mailbox, page 67:
      First time I met her. we were stuck on recon. far from the AO. deep in Indian country. the ops completely fugazi. the horn dead. and my BTO sick as skunkrot. She comes creeping by our ditch.

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