|(jargon)||veeblefetzer - /vee'b*l-fetz'*/ (Or "veeblefeetzer"?) A purposely
nonsensical sounding word applied to any sort of obscure or
complicated object, e.g. a piece of computer code, model
railroad equipment, auto parts, etc.|
The more immediate origin of the word is "Mad" Magazine. In the late 1950s and early 1960s it used the word along the same lines, especially in its send-ups of big business. "North American Veeblefetzer" was the subject of satires of an annual reports, an in-house newsletter, and more. A Veeblefetzer, in their case, was a robot-like device that did something or other.
The more distant source was probably a 19th century yiddish word, possibly with limited usage. In German, "Fetzer" is any contraption, while "Veeble" is a likely corruption of "Webel" -- meaning weaving. Textile mills of this period were crammed with very complicated, wildly active and very loud pieces of machinery.
See also veeblefester.