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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Fred \Fred\ (fr[e^]d), n. [AS. fri[eth] peace. See Frith inclosure.] Peace; -- a word used in composition, especially in proper names; as, Alfred; Frederic. [1913 Webster]
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

fred n. 1. The personal name most frequently used as a metasyntactic variable (see foo). Allegedly popular because it's easy for a non-touch-typist to type on a standard QWERTY keyboard. In Great Britain, ?fred?, ?jim? and ?sheila? are common metasyntactic variables because their uppercase versions were official names given to the 3 memory areas that held I/O status registers on the lovingly-remembered BBC Microcomputer! (It is reported that SHEILA was poked the most often.) Unlike J. Random Hacker or J. Random Loser, the name ?fred? has no positive or negative loading (but see Dr. Fred Mbogo). See also barney. 2. An acronym for ?Flipping Ridiculous Electronic Device?; other F-verbs may be substituted for ?flipping?.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

FRED Robert Carr. Language used by Framework, Ashton-Tate. [Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

fred 1. The personal name most frequently used as a metasyntactic variable (see foo). Allegedly popular because it's easy for a non-touch-typist to type on a standard QWERTY keyboard. Unlike J. Random Hacker or "J. Random Loser", this name has no positive or negative loading (but see Mbogo, Dr. Fred). See also barney. 2. An acronym for "Flipping Ridiculous Electronic Device"; other F-verbs may be substituted for "flipping".