Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Feb 18 04:20:36 UTC 2006

Making of America reveals a pre-1856 "phat" as simple eye-dialect for "fat."

  But most often it seems to have been used to represent a strongly aspirated Hibernian
  "what" (sometimes also spelled "phwat").


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Re: Phat

In the on-line archives, "phat" apparently for "fat" can be found many
times dating wayyy back, usually apparently just a frivolous misspelling,
perhaps along the lines of "oll korrekt".

For example, searching for <<"fat gothic">> and for <<"phat gothic">> at
N'archive recovers two editions of the same story with the same
attribution, which contains multiple odd misspellings -- apparently 'eye
dialect' at least in some cases -- not all the same in the two versions.
Here "fat/phat gothic" refers to a typeface apparently. This is from 1855.

-- Doug Wilson

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