"Phat" is both a idea and a thing. In its conceptual form, it is something that is very cool. In its manifestational form, it is a word which is used to describe that which is very cool. The word "phat" is most often found in the vocabulary of persons who are immersed in the hiphop culture, Drum n Bass or Jungle culture, or most anybody who wears Snug clothing because they understand it (not because it is trendy).

phat a. (Abbreviation; from the hip-hop movement) 1. Describing someone who is Pretty Hot And Tempting. Usually applied to an attractive member of the opposite sex. (JG) 2. Cool and funky looking. (TP)

1) (adj) Rich like butter, really good, extremely well put together. "ATCQ be putting together some phat beats" -- ??? (???)
2) (adj) If a girl was phat, she had Plenty o' Hips And Thighs, in other words PHysically ATtractive; old slang. Think 60's or early 70's here
[Actually, I think it was the 50s], A bit more modern: Pussy, Hips And Tits or even Pretty Hot And Tempting.

Phat can also be used to mean a sound that is detuned - using several copies of a sample or several oscillators tuned to slightly different pitches. I've seen this use in several places, notably the sound-generator Orangator, which has a 'phat sound generator'. Can also be spelled 'fat'. For example, my keyboard has a brass voice named 'fat brass', which is a maximum-detuned brass ensemble tone.

Phat is a backronym.

Sorry to disappoint everyone but the word 'phat' is almost certainly a derivative from the word 'fat'.

As early as 1951, calling something fat was a way of saying something was attractive or up-to-date. At some point afterwards, this mutated into phat , at least by 1963 where it was mentioned in Time magazine.

Emerging from the tradition of praise words, phat means 'cool', 'wicked' and is often applied to music (phat tunes!) or attractive women.

However, at some time in the 70's, people began to feel that 'phat' ought to have its own derivation. Perhaps they were uncomfortable with a praise-word like 'phat' should be associated with 'fat', which has negative connotations to a lot of people, particularly calling a girl 'phat'. Perhaps it was someone's idea of a joke and it proved compelling. I dunno. In any case, sources began to appear that claimed PHAT was an acronym for Pretty Hot And Tempting.

This meme caught on, strengthened because the acronym seemed to describe quite accurately the meaning of the word. Other bacronyms were developed later on, like PHiysically ATtractive. In fact, if loads of online dictionaries of slang have made the same mistake.

For more backronyms, fuck and posh are two words similarly mistreated.

http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/childlit/papers/355paper_2.html quoting the OED

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