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What does FAB stand for?

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What does FAB stand for in Thunderbirds

The real meaning of FAB in Thunderbirds…

This has got to be one of the most asked questions: What does FAB stand for in Thunderbirds?

Well here’s the answer in one simple word: Nothing!

In the 60’s the buzzword was “fabulous”. This was shortened to FAB and used simply as a call sign like ‘Roger’ or ‘Ten-Four’ to acknowledge received instructions. If it was an acronym, then the best suggestion we’ve heard for a potential meaning is “Fully Acknowledged Broadcast”. So now, next time someone asks you what FAB stands for, you can give them the authoritative answer: nothing!

Are you disappointed with the answer to the often-asked question: What does FAB stand for in Thunderbirds? It’s Gerry Anderson’s official answer and was repeated by many members of the crew who worked on the show at the time.

But what does Jeff Tracy say? If you’d like an in-universe answer to the question then look no further. Check out the video below:

There are a few apocryphal tales on this too. A couple of callers to an LBC radio show a few years ago cited these answers:

Name: Derek, Maida Vale
Qualification: Huge Thunderbirds fan
Answer: I used to collect all Thunderbirds comic books and in one issue only, FAB stood For Always Brothers. I once won a competition in Smash Hits magazine with this very answer!
(James O’Brien: But your comic probably wasn’t written by Gerry Anderson)

Name: David, Chelmsford
Qualification: Overheard it from Gerry Anderson’s son on a plane journey
Answer: It means Fully Audible Broadcast. 
(James O’Brien: I’m not buying it. I’ve got it from the horse’s mouth!)

But even if a Thunderbirds comic book did state that FAB stood for ‘for always brothers’ it was certainly retrofitted. And ‘fully audible broadcast’?! We don’t think so.

To reiterate, and put this to bed once and for all:

FAB doesn’t stand for anything! It was just a cool-sounding callsign invented by Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson to mean ‘affirmative’, but it’s not an acronym. Sorry folks!

Want to read more about Thunderbirds?

Listen to the Genesis of Thunderbirds story on the Gerry Anderson Podcast

Watch the Thunderbirds prequel story on our YouTube channel

Read about the beginnings of International Rescue

And while you’re here… Check out our FAB Thunderbirds merch!


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