Friend of a friend  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Friend of a friend (FOAF) is a phrase used to refer to someone that one does not know well — literally, a friend of a friend.

In some social sciences, the phrase is used as a half-joking shorthand for the fact that much of the information on which people act comes from distant sources (as in "It happened to a friend of a friend of mine") and cannot be confirmed. It is probably best known from urban legend studies. The term was popularized by Jan Harold Brunvand, the best-known writer of that field. It was apparently first published by Rodney Dale in his 1978 book The Tumour in the Whale - WH Allen ISBN 0-426-18710-5, in which he discussed the "FOAFtale".

The rise of social network services has led to increased use of this term.

See also

  • "Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi" (Irish proverb) — a similar Irish language term literally meaning a woman told me that a woman told her that…




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Friend of a friend" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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