Slang. great; wonderful; terrific.

Nearby words

  1. phases of matter,
  2. phasing,
  3. phasis,
  4. phasmid,
  5. phasor,
  6. phatic,
  7. phaënna,
  8. phaëthon,
  9. phc,
  10. phd

Origin of phat

1960–65, Americanism; respelling of fat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for phater


/ (fæt) /


slang terrific; superb

Word Origin for phat

C20: from Black slang, a corruption of fat

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phater



hip-hop slang, "great, excellent," 1992, originating perhaps in the late 1980s and meaning at first "sexiness in a woman." The word itself is presumably a variant of fat (q.v.) in one of its slang senses, with the kind of off-beat spelling preferred in street slang (cf. boyz). The spelling is attested as far back as 1678, as an erroneous form of fat (a classical over-correction; see ph). This spelling is said by some to be an acronym, and supposed originals are offered: "pretty hot and tasty," or "pretty hips and thighs" among them, all unconvincing. These, too may have been innovations given as explanations to women who felt insulted by the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper