- adjective excellent, hip. The re-spelling of fat (itself alternatively derived from its use in the phrase fat-city or from the fat tyres favoured by low-riders, etc.) was an emblematic term first in hip hop and rap circles and then in other youth subcultures such as surfers, skateboarders and skaters, etc. (A magazine named Phat catering for rollerbladers and computer-game fans was briefly published in Britain in 1994.) In this spelling the word, which some authorities claimed was actually based on ‘emphatically’, had no comparative or superlative forms to compare with ‘fattier’ or ‘fattiest’.