Not Fantastic, nor Fabulous

By Anthony Martin

I recently heard an advertisement where the announcer, who had already interrupted my music and thereby was consigned to my dislike list, dug his own grave further when he used the word “fantabulous.” Which by Firefox’s spell check is not a word, but, according to Oxford dictionaries, is an actual word.

Like any good student of English, I trust Oxford, but here I feel I’ve been let down. This word is an embarrassing amalgamation! I hate the sound of it; the image it conjures in my head makes me shudder. It’s an embodiment of immaturity and slang at their lowest levels. It’s a gaggle of teen girls gossiping about shirts in JC Penney on a Saturday afternoon at their local mall.

The only information I’ve found so far on the word’s origins date the word to 1957 (of course it comes from the 50s), but I am open for suggestions. If anyone knows more, please enlighten me. The best way to conquer fears is to understand them.


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