hip-hop slang, "great, excellent," 1992, originating perhaps in the late 1980s and meaning at first "sexiness in a woman." The word itself is presumably a variant of fat (q.v.) in one of its slang senses, with the kind of off-beat spelling preferred in street slang (compare boyz). The spelling is attested as far back as 1678, as an erroneous form of fat (a classical over-correction; see ph).
In the modern word it is said by some to be an acronym, and supposed originals are offered: "pretty hot and tasty," or "pretty hips and thighs" among them, all unconvincing. These may have begun as improvised explanations to women who felt insulted by the word.
updated on May 16, 2020