Examples of ratchet
Examples of ratchet
Where does ratchet come from?
Ratchet may have originated in Shreveport, Louisiana, lovingly nicknamed Ratchet City. Rappers from there were using ratchet in songs since the late 1990s, based on a regional pronunciation of wretched. Another theory for its origin is that ratchet comes from ratchet up, or “bringing something up in intensity.”
Calling someone ratchet means you think they have no class and lack a proper upbringing but they don’t know it (e.g., trashy). It’s especially used for a woman considered promiscuous or ghetto.
Ratchet was notably used by Rapper Lil Boosie in his 2005 song “Do Da Ratchet.” In 2012, Nicki Minaj used it on her “Right By Side” as did Juicy J on his “Bandz a Make Her Dance” and LL Cool J on his “Ratchet”: “She’s so ratchet, she’s so ratchet / But she’s so bad we could throw cash at it.”
Many called 2012 the year of the ratchet. They also noted that the hip-hop slang developed positive connotations, like cool or fierce.
Comedy duo Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson released a 2013 video titled “Ratchet Girl Anthem,” where the pair impersonate two, classless ratchet girls judging other ratchets. It has since had over 45 million views.
In 2018, Drake also released a song “Ratchet Happy Birthday” on Side B of his Scorpion album.
Who uses ratchet?
Ratchet is mainly directed at women and used as an insult. It is particularly slung at black women considered uneducated and whorish, accused of doing things like hitting the club when pregnant.
City girls really bring the ratchet side of me out owwww pic.twitter.com/juAdFYpA6Z
— Nuskiii😝 (@nudoteightt) December 10, 2018
Ratchet can be used like the slang ghetto, which typically slurs behaviors stereotyping poor, black people.
Bitches really be mad that you not ghetto and ratchet like them.😂 bitches can’t even want more for themselves without y’all saying somebody “stuck up” “fake boujie”
— Mamas. (@EriOnDaWeeknds) January 4, 2019
But ratchet has been experiencing something of a reclamation. Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, for instance, wore earrings with the word ratchet gilded in gold. Where the word isn’t becoming empowered, it is becoming “exciting,” used like lit.
Ratchet women, however, persisted as a stereotype in the 2010s. Her style featured overdone eyebrows, long fingernails, conspicuously fake weaves, gaudy jewelry, and twerking. Pop star Miley Cyrus was accused of appropriating minority ratchet culture in 2013.