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Mar 5, 2012
This week's theme
Slang

This week's words
phat
goo-goo
props
glom
shambolic

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Poet Carl Sandburg once described slang as "a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work." Nothing wrong with words in a tie and suit, but sometimes only slang can do the job.

Since slang is often born in the back alleys of language rather than in a sanitized hospital room, it's not always easy to pin down its origins. Does that matter? Go ahead, hire this week's five hardworking words for your verbal mill.

phat

PRONUNCIATION:
(fat)

MEANING:
adjective: Great; excellent.

ETYMOLOGY:
Respelling of fat. Various acronyms have been suggested as possible origins of the word, but they are examples of backronyms. The word phatic has nothing to do with phat. Earliest documented use: 1963.

USAGE:
"When I was seventeen I got a phat job at a dry cleaner. Making $4.75 an hour I felt kingly compared to my prior job at McDonald's."
Steve Hilton; Ask Steve; Telephony; Jul 28, 2009.

"It took twice as long as the original did but the end result is phat."
Kim Dawson; Hollyoaks Star is a Decks Maniac!; Daily Star (London, UK); Mar 15, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us. -Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-100)

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