Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Disputed. Various explanations of the origin are given:

  • That it is a contraction of the phrase "far be it from me to criticize anyone, but...", or of "far below" (the expected standard).
  • That it comes from the German word Farbe ("colour") (many fabrics dyed with modern dyes are "too colourful" to be authentic, by comparison with their historical originals).
  • There exists a letter dated 1 April 1863 from an A.R. Crawford in the 76th Illinois Infantry, Co D, that uses the phrase, "fallacious accoutrements & reprehensible baggage," in description of six children posing in phony military gear during a sham reenactment that took place during the actual Civil War. Many point to this phrase as the origin of the word, citing "farb" as an acronym.
  • Many early replica rifles were marked with what looked like "F.A.R.B" among the proofmarks.
    "FARB" mark on a replica rifle
    Removing this would make the rifle look more authentic.


  • (file)


farb (plural farbs)

  1. (US) A historical reenactor (especially an American Civil War reenactor) whose efforts at a historically accurate portrayal are, in the opinion of the speaker, inadequate (for example, wearing a modern wristwatch with period costume). The opposite of farb is "hard-core" (or hardcore), someone who is, in the opinion of the speaker, an "authenticity fanatic".
    • 1998, Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic, 1st Vintage Departures edition, Vintage Books, →ISBN, page 10:
      "Farb was the worst insult in the hardcore vocabulary. It referred to reenactors who approached the past past with a lack of verisimilitude.

Derived terms[edit]


farb (third-person singular simple present farbs, present participle farbing, simple past and past participle farbed)

  1. (US, slang, intransitive) To act like a farb; to portray a historical character in an inauthentic way.




  • IPA(key): /farp/
  • Rhymes: -arp
  • Syllabification: farb


farb f

  1. genitive plural of farba