Green’s Dictionary of Slang

fab adj.

also fabbo, fabby, fabe, fabel, faboo
[abbr. SE fabulous, but Hancock, ‘Shelta and Polari’ (1984), suggests Sp. fabulosa, and sees it as orig. Polari]

a general term of approbation, first popularized by the Beatles c.1963 but still used, often with an ironic intonation.

[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 99: ‘Where’d you get that locket thing with the chain on it?’ ‘Only two and six at Coles.’ ‘Really, isn’t it f-a-a-b!’.
[UK]K. Williams Diaries 28 Sept. 164: Show evening — packed. We’re doing fab. business still!
[UK]Mersey Beat 20 Sept.–4 Oct. n.p.: We all had a geer time. The pay wasn’t too fab.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 77: fab fabulous, fantastic [...] fabby.
[SA]S. Roberts ‘The Boss’ Outside Life’s Feast 71: So ... Mauritius. That’s fab!
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 91: I know you are ‘with it’ [...] because some of the things you write that I have read are just fab!
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 19: How simply fab divine and rare to gobble the waiter.
Dandy Book n.p.: ‘What a fabby day [...] and these balloons are fabbo’.
[US]R. Scott Rebecca’s Dict. of Queer Sl. 🌐 fab or faboo — short for Fabulous, a favorite word of many queens.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. 27 June 5: The fab two tie the knot on 4 July.
[Ire]P. McCabe Emerald Germs of Ireland 346: It’s going to be the fabbo party of all time!
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 2: Dad’s got this fab pencil-sharpener clamped to his desk.
[UK]Observer New Review 3 Oct. 25/4: George’s sidekick was a bit dapper for a copper - period mop-top, fab gear, cuban heels.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 345: Well, it’s fabby tae see a boy oan the up.
[Scot]V. McDermid Insidious Intent (2018) 163: ‘El’s dishy friend Mark, a million times more fab than scuzzy Steve!!!’’.
[UK]P. Baker Fabulosa 292/1: fab, fabe, fabel good, great.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 266: There’s one fab photo. She’s fetching fine in ’49.
Dogs4Rescue on Twitter 5 Sept. 🌐 £1 in our bucket would be fabbo.