Green’s Dictionary of Slang

darb n.1

[? dab n.1 (1) or fig. ext. of darb n.2 ]

1. anything or anyone seen as first-rate; as the darb, ‘the thing’.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 96: What’s good today Jim. Our beef pie today is catsy —It’s a darb order.
[US]Van Loan ‘Scrap Iron’ in Taking the Count 213: Your right cross is a darb.
[US]T.H. Kelly What Outfit, Buddy? 75: It’s coffee with beaucoup hot milk, and it sure is the darb.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 1 July [synd. col.] One of New York’s famous pickpockets is what Broadway calls a darb.
[US]Ersine Und. and Prison Sl.
[US]S.J. Perelman ‘Take Two Parts Sand, One Part Girl’ in Keep It Crisp 91: We got darb. (Producing two photographs).
[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 151: ‘Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide’ – a real darb of a movie.
[US]Da Bomb [Internet] 8: Darb: A popular person.

2. (US tramp) an attractive woman.

[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 5: He didn’t grab no doll belongin’ to the Wise Cracker but he flagged him from grabbin a darb the other evenin’ an’ the Wise Cracker swears he'll get even.
[US]R. Bolwell ‘College Sl. Words And Phrases’ in DN IV:iii 233: darb, n. Something, especially a girl, that is unusually attractive.
[US]Wash. Times (DC) 23 May 47/2: [cartoon caption] As Eddie says: ‘She’s a Darb’.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 139: You ought to see this cow [...] She’s a darb, a wonder, a pip.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 165: Coose is a darb, McGinty said, roaring.
[NZ]Eve. Post (Wellington) 25 Jan. 8/8: Modern Americanisms [...] The names for girls are legion [...] ‘Canary,’ ‘Hairpin,’ ‘Sardine,’ ‘Hotsie-Totsie’ or plain ’darb’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

3. a fool.

[US]Eve. Star (Wshington, DC) 3 Dec. 4/1: The kid’s a darb, ain’t he?
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘The Dizzy Dumb-Bell’ in Top Notch 1 Aug. [Internet] ‘The dumb darb!’ Riley snarled.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘Publicity for the Corpse’ in Thrilling Detective Dec. [Internet] Being ordered around like some darb without the ordinary quantity of gray matter!

In derivatives

darberoo (n.) [-eroo sfx]

a good thing.

[US]D. Runyon ‘The Three Wise Guys’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 408: I say the baby is a darberoo. [Ibid.] ‘Neat Strip’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 608: What is such a darberoo doing in a burlesque turkey.