- a cut of meat from the heavy-muscled part of a hog's rear quarter, between hip and hock, usually cured.
- that part of a hog's hind leg.
- the part of the leg back of the knee.
- Often hams. the back of the thigh, or the thigh and the buttock together.
Origin of ham1
- an actor or performer who overacts.
- an operator of an amateur radio station.
- to act with exaggerated expression of emotion; overact.
- ham it up, to overact; ham.
Origin of ham2
- the second son of Noah, Gen. 10:1.
Examples from the Web for hams
Connoisseurship has spread from wine and olive oil to chocolate, cheeses, pickles, hams, cupcakes.One Percent Shots! Testing Leona, DeLeon’s $825 Bottle of Tequila
November 29, 2012
Delicious Iberian hams and cured meats arrive with great fanfare.Gal With a Suitcase
June 5, 2010
On first seeing her, he had knelt down on the sidewalk and kissed her hand to thank her for her hams.Easter's Top Five Hams
March 30, 2010
I do hope your minions did not confuse you with talk about farms and hams.Obama Meets the Queen
March 31, 2009
In cooking these hams simmer them slowly for seven or eight hours.
Then take out the hams, rub them with bran and smoke them for a fortnight.
Hanging from the poles which upheld the awnings were sausages, chitterlings, and hams.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Rub your hams well with this mixture, and cover them with the rest.The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;
Charlotte Campbell Bury
The hams and shoulders being cut off, take for pickling the quantities proportioned to the middlings of a pretty large hog.
- the part of the hindquarters of a pig or similar animal between the hock and the hip
- the meat of this part, esp when salted or smoked
- the back of the leg above the knee
- the space or area behind the knee
- needlework a cushion used for moulding curves
- theatre informal
- an actor who overacts or relies on stock gestures or mannerisms
- overacting or clumsy acting
- (as modifier)a ham actor
- a licensed amateur radio operator
- (as modifier)a ham licence
- informal to overact
Word Origin and History for hams
"meat of a hog's hind leg used for food," 1630s, from Old English hamm "hollow or bend of the knee," from Proto-Germanic *hamma- (cf. Old Norse höm, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch hamme, Old High German hamma), from PIE *konemo- "shin bone" (cf. Greek kneme "calf of the leg," Old Irish cnaim "bone"). Ham-fisted (1928) was originally in reference to pilots who were heavy on the controls, as was ham-handed (by 1918). With hammen ifalden "with folded hams" was a Middle English way of saying "kneeling."
"overacting inferior performer," 1882, American English, apparently a shortening of hamfatter (1880) "actor of low grade," said since at least 1889 to be from an old minstrel show song, "The Ham-fat Man" (1863). The song, a black-face number, has nothing to do with acting, so the connection must be with the quality of acting in minstrel shows, where the song was popular. Ham also had a sports slang sense of "incompetent pugilist" circa 1888, perhaps from ham-fisted. The notion of "amateurish" led to the sense of "amateur radio operator" (1919). The verb in the performance sense is first recorded 1933. As an adjective in this sense by 1935.
One of the three sons of Noah. According to the biblical account, Noah and his family were the only human survivors of the great Flood and were therefore the progenitors of all the peoples on Earth.