Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Vocabulary Lesson: HAM

HAM is an acronym and Young Person term. It is meant to explain the degree of one person's hardness. Generally it is meant positively and with great enthusiasm. HAM can be used to display a level of physical activity, or just a means of saying "I overdid it."

It stands for "Hard As A Motherfucker." HAM can be a noun or a verb—sort of. It is not entirely grammatically correct.

HAM's origin is from the 2011 Kanye West and Jay-Z single "H•A•M." It appeared on their joint album Watch the Throne.

Here are some examples:

"Sorry about those drunk phone calls. I HAMmed last night."
"Let's get the party started! I'm going full on HAM."
"Let's get HAM!"
"I'm going HAM on the yard later, so I bought us victory beers."*

*This is the least cool example, but it's not ironic. I go hard on everything.

I know people who have extended the word to "Hamilton," which is my favorite usage, as Hamilton is a Baltimore neighborhood. (And, if I recall correctly, the setting for 2004's A Dirty Shame—seems appropriate, no?) I also like it because "going HAM" reminds me of the irritating phrase "went missing." (UGH.) In this sense you would say, "I went to Hamilton last night." Just imagine the debauchery on Harford Road!

Additional Resources:
HAM, Urban Dictionary
What does the slang word "ham" mean? Yahoo! Answers

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