Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 17 13:20:27 UTC 2006

Wilson, who was spelling it "phatt" in 1950 ?

  And for everybody else, I've got a couple of "phats" from a century ago used by printers. What was that about ? ("A phat evening" is one collocation.)  The word seems to have vanished from print till 1963, when _Time_ mentioned it as "Negro argot."

  For those who can't wait for HDAS III, "phat" appears to have originated as a simple respelling of "fat," and not as some exotic anatomical acronym.


Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: Today's Language Quotation

Let's see. HDAS has "bust a cap" back to 1863 and, as far as I know,
it has never been out of fashion. I know a version of "phat," to wit:
"phatt," from 1950. "Bood/ty" is another hoary old chestnut, as is
"get all up in that ass."

I wonder how long the new ones will last.

And yes, I agree that the quote raises some of the questions of the
ages. It's pretty funny, as was your punny intro, Jon.


On 2/16/06, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
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> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Jonathan Lighter
> Subject: Today's Language Quotation
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Questions that should not go begging :
> "Why is that one can busta rhyme or busta move anywhere, but you must busta cap in someone's ass?...How many peeps in a posse, how much booty before baby got back, do you have to be all that to get all up in that, and do I need to be dope and phat to be da bomb or can I just be 'stupid' ?"
> --Christopher Moore, _Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Pal_ (2002; rpt. N.Y.: Harper Perennial, 2003), p. 110.
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