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Origin of ham1
Words nearby ham
Definition for ham (2 of 3)
verb (used with or without object), hammed, ham·ming.
Origin of ham2
Definition for ham (3 of 3)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does ham mean?
To go ham is to put in an extraordinary, even aggressive, amount of effort. If you went crazy eating ham, you’d be going ham on some ham. In this sense, ham may stand for hard as a motherf****r.
Where does ham come from?
Hard has been used in hip-hop with a couple related meanings since the 1980s. If you do something with intensity, you do it hard. Rappers have been bragging about rolling and hustling hard since the 1980s. A person can also be hard, meaning they’re “tough.” In 1988, for example, Sir Mix-a-Lot bragged about being “born in the ghetto, hard as metal.” Q-Tip released a song titled “Go Hard” in 1999.
So, what if someone is (or goes) even harder than that? Then they might be hard as a motherf****r. An internet forum post from 1999 described Ice Cube as “hard as a motherf****r.” The phrase even found its way to at least one international hip-hop scene, as a 2003 book on Australian hip-hop said two local groups, Brethren and Def Wish Cast, “hit hard as a motherf****r.”
The acronym H.A.M. found widespread popularity in 2008. That January, Gucci Mane released “Go Ham on Em.” Later that year, Soulja Boy released his own song with the same title.
In 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West teamed up on “H*A*M,” where they bragged about going harder than anyone else in the game.
How is ham used in real life?
Going ham isn’t just for hip-hop stars anymore. Athletes, who also respect intensity and toughness, adopted ham. Deshaun Watson, an NFL quarterback, tweeted when he was in high school in 2012: “If I get a chance to play in a national championship game, Imma go ham.” In 2017, Watson did play in the NCAA national championship—and he did go ham.
If I get a chance to play in a national championship game, Imma go ham.
— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) February 5, 2012
There’s also a sportswear brand named H.A.M. Even e-sports players can go ham. In 2015, a player of the game Heroes of the Storm was heard using the phrase on an ESPN2 broadcast.
Of course, you can go ham at anything you want, like say, dancing. Though the words ham stands in for may not be acceptable in polite society, ham itself isn’t considered offensive. In 2018, a Philadelphia news station used the term for a video of a pug and some pigs going ham on a pizza, showing just how mainstream the slang has come.
More examples of ham:
“With David Gordon Green’s Halloween set to premiere at this weekend’s Toronto International Film Festival, Blumhouse has unleashed a brutal new trailer — and we do mean brutal. Unlike the first trailer, this sneak peek finds Michael Myers going H.A.M. across Haddonfield, Illinois, terrorizing trick or treaters as he moves like a walking nightmare from within the shadows.”
—Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound, September, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for ham
Since when was the traditional version thrown out for one made of ham?
But merit aside, you can indict a ham sandwich if it's Republican in the most liberal hotbed of Texas: Travis County.
The problem for Perry is that a Travis County jury can also find a Republican ham sandwich guilty.
The Cuban sandwich is made with pulled pork shoulder and ham (both from farm hogs, of course), as well as house-made pickles.
A grilled cheese sandwich, made with four different cheeses, comes with McLane ham (and is grilled in truffle butter).
In carving a ham, begin not quite in the centre, but a little nearer to the hock.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches|Eliza Leslie
For the first time in the history of mankind the experiment was made of extending the institutions of Japhet to the sons of Ham.
"Friend, it is but idle to spur a horse when his legs are ham shackled," said the Highlander, haughtily.The Fair Maid of Perth|Sir Walter Scott
After such an experience as you must have been through this night to set down to ham and toast!Thankful's Inheritance|Joseph C. Lincoln
When the prince had been a prisoner at Ham, he had sent the novelist his study entitled L'Extinction du pauperisme.
British Dictionary definitions for ham (1 of 2)
- the back of the leg above the knee
- the space or area behind the knee
Word Origin for ham
British Dictionary definitions for ham (2 of 2)
- 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
verb hams, hamming or hammed
Word Origin for ham
Cultural definitions for ham
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.