/tan'stah-fl/ (From Robert Heinlein's classic "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress") "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch".
Often invoked when someone is balking at the prospect of using an unpleasantly heavyweight
technique, or at the poor quality of some piece of free software
, or at the signal-to-noise ratio
of unmoderated Usenet
newsgroups. "What? Don't tell me I have to implement a database
back end to get my address book program to work!"
"Well, TANSTAAFL you know."
This phrase owes some of its popularity to the high concentration of science-fiction fans and political libertarians in hackerdom.