1. What it means to be “Ratchet.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I really do love trashy television. Sometimes, though, I take it too far and watch the really bad stuff, like Jerry Springer.
I have to preface this by saying that I’ve been watching Jerry for a long time. I can remember staying over with my grandma when I was little, sleeping in her room and watching Jerry with her late at night. So my love of Jerry Springer goes waaaaay back. It’s in my blood.
I go through Jerry-watching phases, and the past couple of days I’ve been sending down during the lunch hour(s) and knitting while watching Maury and Jerry Springer.
Today, one of the guests referred to another woman as “ratchet.” This is not the first time I’d heard the word, but I’ve never quite understood it.
At first, I thought she said “wretched,” but she was very clearly saying “ratchet.” I was just about to whip out my phone to look it up on Urban Dictionary (because after hearing it a hundred times, I’ll finally look it up. If it’s in Jerry, it’s clearly not going anywhere) when the speaker explained what it meant: a trashy woman (person?) who is into drugs/alcohol/partying/sex. I’ve never heard this word used re: a man, but I guess it’s not unheard of.
A man can be ratchet, too, right?
2. Prescriptivists are taking over Urban Dictionary.
Of course, I did still look ratchet up on Urban Dictionary, only to find this as the second most popular definition:
It’s a fucking socket wrench.
The correct way to use the word “ratchet” would be, “Wow, this ratchet is so useful.”
“Damn, she so ratchet–“
“Shut the fuck up, it’s a socket wrench.”
At first, I was like “I’m so glad I’m not the only one!” because that’s definitely the first then I think of when I hear the word ratchet. Like, that girl is so wrenchy? But then I was thinking about what it means that (a) people are posting such aggressive reactions to language evolution and (b) other people are upvoting it.
Of course, these people probably don’t know they’re prescriptivists, and they probably make their own “mistakes” in language use from a prescriptive perspective. But isn’t it interesting to see these sorts of comments being made.
3. “Ham Sandwich” is a drinking thing.
I was listening to Jason Derulo earlier, and I’ve always been bothered by this line in one of his songs (I think it’s “Bubblegum” but I’m not 100 percent sure): “Go ahead and go ham sandwich.” I don’t know what this means.
Then, I got on Facebook and one of my friends posted about a shot (set of shots? shot pattern?) called the “Ham Sandwich” where one takes a dark, light, then dark shot. Maybe she is making this up, but probably not. Is this what Jason Derulo is talking about?
A quick perusal of Urban Dictionary shows there are a lot of potential definitions for “ham sandwich,” and none of the other ones seem more likely to be what he’s talking about.
4. I might be out of touch?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s totally fine and normal that I don’t know what ratchet and ham sandwich mean. Maybe it’s weird. I guess I’ll probably never know.