/frob'ni-kayt/ vt. [Poss. derived from
, and usually abbreviated to frob
`frobnicate' is recognized as the official full form.] To
manipulate or adjust, to tweak. One frequently frobs bits or other
2-state devices. Thus "Please frob the light switch" (that is,
flip it), but also "Stop frobbing that clasp; you'll break it".
One also sees the construction `to frob a frob'. See tweak
. Usage frob, twiddle, and tweak sometimes
connote points along a continuum. `Frob' connotes aimless
manipulation; `twiddle' connotes gross manipulation, often a
coarse search for a proper setting; `tweak' connotes fine-tuning.
If someone is turning a knob on an oscilloscope, then if he's
carefully adjusting it, he is probably tweaking it; if he is just
turning it but looking at the screen, he is probably twiddling it;
but if he's just doing it because turning a knob is fun, he's
frobbing it. The variant `frobnosticate' has been recently