Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fat adj.

1. in fig. senses of positive assessment.

(a) [17C; mid-18C+] a general positive epithet, good, first-rate, excellent.

(b) [early 19C; 1950s+] a general intensifier, e.g. a fat damn.

(c) [1960s+] (orig. US black) a general term of approval, excellent, fantastic, attractive etc [spec. black use is a more emphatic version of sense 1].

2. in senses of possession.

(a) [early 17C; late 18C+] substantial; wealthy, rich; thus fat cull, a rich man.

(b) [1970s+] well supplied with drugs.

3. [20C+] self-obsessed, smug.

4. [1950s+] (US black) pregnant.

In derivatives

fatness (n.)

[19C] wealth.

In compounds

In phrases

get fat (v.)

[1990s+] (US black) to become rich.

go fat (v.)

[1960s] (S.Afr.) to go wild, to ‘let off steam’.

sit fat (v.)

[1990s+] (US) to be successful and powerful.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

fat ale (n.)

[mid-19C] strong beer.


see separate entries.

fatboy (n.)

[2000s] (US) the penis.

fat cat

see separate entries.

fat chance (n.)

see separate entry.

fat city

see separate entries.

fat cock (n.)

see separate entries.

fat-face (n.)

[mid-18C] a general term of opprobrium.

fat-fancier (n.) (also fat-monger)

[19C] a man who prefers plump women.

fat farm (n.)

[1960s+] (orig. US) a slimming clinic.

fatgut (n.)

[1950s] a derog. name for a fat person; also attrib.

fatguts (n.) (also gutfatty) [gut n.]

[late 16C+] a term of abuse, used of one who has a fat stomach.

fat-gutted (adj.)

[18C–19C] a general abusive epithet, describing someone with a fat stomach.


see separate entries.

fat knacker (n.) [knacker n. (1)]

[1990s+] (UK juv.) an unattractive, promiscuous woman.

fat knot (n.)

[1970s+] (US black) a substantial roll of dollar bills.

fat lip (n.)

[1940s+] a bruised and swollen mouth, the result of a blow.

fat lot (n.) [an ironic reversal]

[mid-19C+] not very much, if anything at all; often as phr. a fat lot of good (that will do).


see separate entries.

fat one (n.)

1. a hard blow.

2. [19C] (also fat ’un) an especially noisy breaking of wind.

3. [1950s–60s] (US) a $100 bill.

4. [1960s+] (US drugs, also fattie, fatty) a marijuana cigarette, esp. a large one.

5. [1990s+] (US) a large cigar.

fat-tailed (adj.)

[1950s] (US) overweight.

fatwad (n.)

[1900s-10s; 2000s] (US) an aristocrat, a wealthy person; also attrib.

In phrases

fat around the heart (adj.) [fat around the heart clogs the arteries and makes one’s blood, fig. courage, flow more slowly]

[1930s] (US black) cowardly.

fat as a buggy-whip (adj.)

[19C+] (US) very thin.

fat as a match (adj.)

[mid-19C+] (US) very thin.

fat as Sir Roger (adj.) [the weighty Arthur Orton (1834–98), self-styled Sir Roger Tichborne, ‘star’ of the 1871 ‘Tichborne claimant’ case]

[late 19C] extremely fat.

fat on top (adj.) [1970s+] (US gay)

1. intellectual.

2. drunk.

In exclamations

fat show!

[1930s+] (N.Z.) no chance at all!