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Ghetto slang is a type of street talk that has been created by inner-city youth. It is often used in rap songs and spoken by young people who live in poverty-ridden areas.
The word “hood” is a slang term that refers to a neighborhood considered dangerous or undesirable. The term “ghetto” is often used to describe these areas as well.
Please note these terms are not meant to be offensive but simply reflect the way some people speak. If you are unfamiliar with this language, it is best not to use it.
Ghetto slang words
Here are some examples of ghetto slang words and their meanings:
“Shit-bag”. From ” shit ” and ” bag “. “Shit” in this context is used as a negative term of respect or affection.
A term of endearment used to express appreciation of someone or something. Often used to praise a person’s effort or achievement or to express sympathy.
Smoke ‘n’ Mirrors
A euphemism for masturbation, often used when a person is sexually aroused or nervous.
Smoke Weed, Man Smoke Weed, Man
A derogatory term for someone or something of low status or value.
A term used to refer to any form of advocacy of radical, leftist or liberal causes.
An exclamation of amusement at another person’s foolishness or incompetence.
Best friend, main man, a person who has someone’s back, or protection or who will go down for there friend or crew.
Short for “all right”, everything is cool, or, a way of saying something is not great, and not bad, but in the middle like.
AK 47 gas-operated assault rifle.
You think you hot, or the hottest, or the coolest.
An east coast term short for brother, or bro.
Baby Mama Baby Daddy
A person you had a child with.
1- Booty, but, nice looking round butt. Remember the song “Baby got back”. 2- Crew, people that will defend you and back you up in a situation.
To Leave, or go. Short for leaving someplace (usually
1- Short gang term for “Gang Bangin” 2- Girl with a ghetto body, big booty, slim waist 3- Term for sexing a girl.
Knife or a sharp weapon.
Ghetto term for money makers in the hood, be it by legal or illegal activities. Also a term for a street basketball player.
Serious trouble with an individual, or group, or gang. It’s to have arguments or war.
Short for Mercedes Benz.
Blew it up/ Blew up the spot
When a Hip Hop crew (MC’s, BBOYS, WRITERS, DJ) gives a great performance that leaves the crowd or observers screaming.
High Off of marijuana rolled in a Philly blunt (cigar).
1) Meaning: Be on the lookout. 2) Term used to describe a wild punch that was invented by famous boxer Kid Chocolate and used by Sugar Ray Leonard.
1- A graffiti rampage on trains and walls, where you try and flood as many tags and throw ups as possible. 2- When fighting to throw as many big punches as to end the fight quick.
1-The percussive part of an 70’s James Brown style record, where the drums play a funky beat. This we called the break, and is one of the key roots to Hip Hop music. 2- original NYC gang term for getting violent on someone, or a situation. Stems from the word Breaking Point.
1- sound of a shot gun blast 2- Used as an exclamation point 3- Name of a west coast Samoan Gangsta rap group
Break it down
1- To dissect a knowledge situation or concept, and explain it in a simple format 2- to get down in any aspect of culture, especially dance.
Buggin means you trippin or wilen
Bust / Bus
To take action or fight/hit/punch/shoot gun. Also can mean to dance, or get down note: saying “bust a move” is incredibly corny and old now.
A person who is fake, phony, or a punk who can’t fight, or snitches.
When someone, something, or someone’s Hip Hop skills are great and smooth.
Buck/ Buck Wild
1- To shoot someone, or at someone. 2- To get crazy one someone, or violent on someone. 3- To get crazy with ones Hip Hop skills.
1- When a crew or group of people rush the door or gates of a party without paying. Bum meaning person with no cash, rush meaning forcing there way in. 2- A person getting jumped/ beat up by a group of people.
1- When someone, someone’s skills or something is not good or is lacking. 2- Someone’s butt
Relax, stay cool.
Punch someone in the chin/ face, To test someone’s chin with a punch to see if they can take it.
Referring to casino chips, money, cash.
1- Guns 2- Chrome car rims
Short for Chuck Taylor Converse all stars sneakers, made popular in the 1970’s and were heavily popular in East coast Hip Hop and West coast Gangs.
1- refers to a circle of people where Mc’s battle, and freestyle, or BBoys battles and get down. It is where BBOYS and MC’s get there real training and work on there skills. 2- in 5% religion (an NYC based religion made popular by rap artists like Brand Nubian and Wu Tang) it refers to the chosen and the non chosen, 5% and non 5%, and angels and devils..so forth.
1- Killin time 2- Punch someone in the head.
New young Hip Hop dance style. Uses allot of footwork.
1- Short for cold hearted. Not nice, that’s not cool, what you did was cold. 2- Great, nice, good. Young people now use it to mean when something is great. 3- a word that expresses an attribute of something. Cold chillin, cold knock you out, Cold gettin down. 4- When your wrist cold
To buy, originally a term for buying drugs.
1-A ghetto girl with nothing happening and too much attitude. A slutty girl. 2- A person who has nothing to show for him or herself, and still likes to talk crap
Crackin/ What’s crackin/ Crackalackin
A group of people who work together for a common cause. Originally a slang used by the Mob for a crew of men who work to rob, steel and extort money. In Hip Hop a crew can also be a group of MC’s (rappers), BBOYS, WRITERS (graffiti artists).
A persons home.
Slang for Brooklyn
Cut up/ Cuttin the rug
Refers to gettin down, dancing.
1- A wise person, a person who speaks with great knowledge. 2- A large group of people traveling together to a party, or how a person rolls up to a club, or spot.
Old school term for something great.
Ghetto way of saying the number 2 22 caliber gun = deuce deuce 42nd street = forty deuce
Dilly/Dealy/What the Dealy
Whats the deal?, whats going on?.
1- Time to go, to leave. 2- Original Hip Hop rhyme started by members of the Furious 5. Dip dive socialize trying to make yall realize that we are qualified to rectify to satisfy to burn in desire, set them on fire to boogie
1- bag of weed 2- A snitch, the amount for a phone call in the 60’s and 70’s and that’s what it took for a snitch to make a call. 3- a way to tell a female or male to call you. 4- referring to Bo Derrick’s move TEN, a perfect woman with pretty face, and ghetto body
Short for disrespect
1- friend that you can count on in times of trouble. A person who watches your back. 2- Old school NYC word for beating someone up.
A persons head. Usually referring to fighting and punching someone in the head, or shooting someone in the head.
Spanish and Italian word for God father, or person of great respect. They will put the word before there real name.
1- Another word for someone or something great 2- Drugs, heroin
Do or Die
Slang for Bedstuy Brooklyn. Do or Die Bedstuy.
To keep something quiet, to protect a secret, shhh don’t tell anyone, or to lay low and not be seen for a while because of a situation.
Down by Law
An old school term for a person who is certified, or who has great credentials, great repoir in the streets
A back and forth game of making fun of each others mothers, family, disabilities. This is no holds bar jokes where people get there feelings hurt, but you have suck it up. Mama jokes seem to be the most common and popular.-Your girlfriend is so stupid, the first time she used a vibrator she cracked her two front teeth.
-Your sister is so stupid, she went to the baker for a yeast infection.
-Your mother is so dumb, she couldn’t pass a blood test. Your mother is so ugly, when he sits in the sand the cat tries to bury he
To teach street knowledge to other people, knowledge of self
Easy, Be easy
Short for make ends meet, to have or keep money.
1- refers to the Philly haircut where they fade the sides and the back to your skin 2- It’s to be high on drugs or liquor
To be phony or acting phony. A person telling lies.
To be desperate for something, like a crackhead.
A fifth of bacardi.
To have style, pizzazz.
Referring to flexing muscle. To try and intimidate someone, or to prepare to fight someone.
Fly/Fly Girl/Fly Guy
A person who looks, dresses, and smells good. Always got there hair done, spends allot of time and money to make themselves look good.
1- to have plenty of money/ income flowing in due to legal or illegal activities. 2- An MC or Dancer who can move or rhyme nonstop smoothly without breaking there flow.
Referring to a forty ounce of beer.
1- Original term for a style of dance that came before house dance. 2- Off the top of the head, when an MC (rapper) rhymes with no pre written rhymes. 3- term for a form of Hip Hop dance that borrows from many styles of dance in and outside of Hip Hop and then freestyle’s it off the top of the head with no routines.
To be great, or brand new. To dance or rhyme, or do a great wild style graffiti piece. To dress nice and look good.
To fake something your not. Pretending to be tuff. To not show up for a situation or a fight.
1- It refers to a music style that originated with drummers in New Orleans like earl Palmer describing the type of sound they want to play. 2- It was a term also coined by James Brown referring to the music making people move and dance so much that at the end of the night the club would be/ smell funky from all the sweating and perspiration. so James Brown would say 3- refers to a style of music originated by the African American community. heavy bass, syncopated drums, and funky grooves. JAMES BROWN, PARLIAMENT FUNCADELIC, SLY STONE. 4- FAKIN THE FUNK means to be fake in music or Hip Hop or on the streets. Or not really funky.
Slang for “FOREAL”
1- short for gangsta 2- short for grand, $1,000
1- To have rap or the words to talk to a fly girl. Or to have words to get out of trouble. 2- To be down to do something, or ready to forward in a situation. 3- To be good at basketball, to always have a good game.
To rob a house. And fly like geese.
Get Down/Get Loose/Get buzy
They all mean to dance, jam, rock turntables, rock a graffiti piece.
To disappear, to leave inconspicuously, without know one seeing you. 2016 Rolls-Royce Car
1- To let off physical energy like a bomb. To let loose and fight or get violent on someone. 2- To get down and dance with massive energy.
1- another word for face. 2- To be stared at by another person with a mean face. 3-A thing in someones teeth
When a drug dealer is on the streets selling drugs, he’s on the grind or grinding. A person who is constantly hittin the streets to find ways to make money to survive in the hood legally or illegally.
Street, dirty, diggin deep.
Ghetto tuff, gutter, raw, gangsta.
1- Real street raw. A person into street raw style Hip Hop music about street life, guns, murder, drugs. Raw Hip Hop, Not the party stuff. 2- when a person is into something, or an activity more than others.
An old school term for a New York thug or gangsta.
1) To stare at or be stared at hard. Originally this was from people of color who were stared at by store or shop owners/ workers who thought that you were gonna steal something. So the shop owner/ worker will follow you around the store and stare at you. referring to a bird of prey with great vision. 2) Weapon
To have courage, to be brave
To call someone out, or contact someone.
1- A punk, or someone who is soft. 2- Marijuana, weed.
Home Skillet/Home Boy/Homey
1- Close friend from around the way. 2- Used to be a dis, when calling someone homely meant like a mamas boy, who never goes out.
Short for neighborhood, but refers to ghetto neighborhood.
Refers to a girl from around the way (your block, hood) who has sex with every guy on your block/ hood.
And old school original graffiti term. When a writer (graffiti) writer or crosses out his enemies name, or a toy (week graffiti writer). He or she will write “hot 110” over there name.
Mid eighties term for a fine young lady. meaning she’s hot, She’s a hottie.
1- Rhymes with bummin so was used to call someone a bum. 2- Person with bad breath.
Person who is always on the grind trying to make money. A person who never sits on his or her riches, but stays grinding for more money. A person who does what ever it takes to make money legal or illegal.
1- To perform (Hip Hop)or play ball with great energy. To get hype with a burst of energy. 2- It is an MC who backs up a main rapper (in a rap group) to keep the crowd/ audience hyper during the performance.
I Ain’t the one
Short for “I ain’t the one to be messed with”.
Jewelry covered with diamonds
Way of saying something is so great it is sickening.
1- Term for robbing a person, or car jacking, steeling someone’s car. 2- Also a word similar to dude.
A cop, police officer.
1- Name of an old school original Hip Hop party in the parks, school yards, small night clubs, youth centers, and so forth. 2- A term for a cool funky record that someone really likes.
To leave in a hurry.
A persons street credibility. In the streets it means to have what we called Pull. Meaning we can make something happen.
Sneakers, tennis shoes
Good, appealing, great.
Know the ledge
To have knowledge or self and everything around you, to have street knowledge
New Hip Hop dance that just came out of the streets of LA, made popular by the movie “RISE”. Affiliated with dances styles like clown walkin, the stripper dance.
1- To have a good time, and party hard 2- new style of Hip Hop music made popular in the Dirty South (Southern States) by artists like Lil John.
1- Short for elevated train platforms. Outside train stations. 2- joint
A person who is high off drugs or liquor.
Master of ceremonies. In Hip Hop an MC was the original term for Rapper. Mic Controller.
Ladies man, a guy who can get any girl he wants. Made popular by the blaxploitation movie in the 70’s.
A term used to explain when something is extra huge, or great.
1- To kill. 2- To leave.
A person wet behind the ears, who has no street experience, a rookie.
Term takin from subway train terminology. Used to describe a party or situation or activity that won’t end for a long time. made popular in early Hip Hop rhymes.
Old School/Old Schooler
A way of saying Back in the days in the streets, school of hard knocks. A person who was representing the streets back in the days. Early days of the streets.
Street way of saying good bye. Bidding someone peace. Latino people will say Uno.
A box cutter or razor blade
Punk City, a term for a special protective jail cell for inmates who are in danger within prison population. Usually meant for inmates who can’t fight or have no pull in the prison (they don’t know any one).
1- A gun 2- An outlined graffiti artwork with color fill ins, and decorated on a train, wall, or black book (hardcover graffiti book)
1- To be discovered that your pretending your something your not, or to get caught in a lie. 2- when someone takes you for a fool. You usually get played by a so called friend or boyfriend/ girlfriend cheating on you.
1- a guy who has tons of girls and manages to play them all at the same time. 2- A person who can play the streets and system to get what he wants. 3- It is a person who down plays another playas game.
When a fad is over and old, and no one is doing it no more.
1- To shoot someone 2- To get busted by the police and sent to jail.
Run it/ Run it back
1-What a stick up kid (robber) would say to a victim, if it’s for a bike, or a wallet or a chain. 2- Mean rewind, or try again, or bring it back.
Wearing you pants low and most of the time with no belt. This style of dress originated in the prison system because they confiscated belts and shoe laces so an inmate can’t hang himself.
A sawed off shotgun, in which the barrel(s) are sawed off to become shorter, for the purpose of the pellets inside the shells to spread out over a vast area. The accuracy is lessened by this but a sawed off 12 gauge is a gully weapon to have.
A type of Puerto Rican food seasoning that gives Spanish food it’s flavor. The term is used by Puerto Ricans to describe someone with style and flavor.
1- Originally a sports term for a person who sucks at a particular sport. 2- A term used by material girls/ gold diggers to describe A dude with no money, no car, no class, but he fronts and tries to get material girls.
To beat someone in a Hip Hop Battle. MC battle, BBOY battle, Graffiti battle, DJ battle.
A home made knife made in prison out of any object that can be sharpened.
1- Originally a gang term for a young kid from the neighborhood. 2- A cute/ fly ghetto girl/ honey.
80’s term for slut.
To sneak a punch or an attack on someone when there not lookin.
1- When an MC (rapper) starts rhyming. 2- It is when a person is flirting with a female.
To make money and save it, or put it away, then go out and make more money. A term for hustlers.
Everything is OK. An individual is OK.
Packing a gun.
Writing your nick name on a wall or train.
Forcibly take your money like the government. To rob.
When something is cool, good , or safe it’s thorough.
Security guards who act like there real cops.
Means that is true.
Don’t get it wrong, or don’t get me wrong. Don’t mess around.
A prison North of NYC. Clinton Correctional Facility.
The upper parts of Manhattan. Anything above 100st. Harlem, Spanish Harlem and upwards.
A writers (graffiti) main goal is to gain fame. To get up, is to gain fame by bombing the system (trains, walls, busses) with as many tags and throw ups.
Short for victim. A stick up kid (robber) term for a potential victim.
Not good, terrible. Referring to someone’s skills, clothes, situations.
1- An LP or record. A DJ term for records. 2- Means to keep it cool
1- a nice looking expensive car.
To accomplish or destroy.
A young person
High on angel dust, PCP.
22 caliber gun
24 hours 7 days a week. Meaning your doing something all day and all night.
38 caliber gun
40 ounce of beer
44 caliber gun
411/What’s the 411
Imformation, gossip, rummors. Stems from telephone information servcice.
Roland 808 drum machin sounds. Refering to one particular bass beat sound made popular in early 80’s NYC Hip Hop, now used in most Dirty South music as well as Miami Bass music.
No half steppin
Don’t half step, don’t half fast. Put 100 % into your efforts not 50%.
Catch this fade
When you wanna fight
RDX, an initialism for Research Department explosive, is an explosive nitroamine widely used in military and industrial applications. It was developed as an explosive which was more powerful than TNT, and it saw wide use in World War II.
A diamond; Marquise cut diamonds are very sparkly.
Ugly car 2.
1. A method of identification of bodies in a morgue. A label on string tied to a deceased persons toe with their name and other information on it. Anklebands (like the wristbands you get when you visit a hospital) are now more common.2. (Slang) To kill somebody.
Maafa (or African Holocaust, Holocaust of Enslavement, or Black holocaust as alternatives) are terms used to describe the history and ongoing effects of atrocities inflicted on African people.
“Echelon” is a level of rank, achievement or reputation.
He was a wrestler. He was called the “Million Dollar Man”, a millionaire who wore a gold-studded, dollar-sign-covered suit.
Cheeba & Ganja
Nickname of Long Island
It is a jacket that were popular in East Coast cities in the ’70s and ’80s.
New York Hot Tracks
It is another classic NYC throwback. It was a television show guest hosted by The Beastie Boys and Run DMC, among others. It was cancelled in 1989.
John Rivas, was a prominent hip hop radio DJ.
Nu Nile is a hair product that made African-textured hair look really slick back in the day.
Conceited, superior, having an air of rude hauteur particularly with regard to personal appearance – but with good reason.
It is an Arabic term for the Islamic concept of the straight path, or the way of life which makes God happy (it’s a quote from the first Surah in the Quran: Surat Al-Fatiha)
It is a common Arabic term that is associated with religion. In Islamic context, it refers to a way of life that that is pleasing to God
“Talking out your neck”
It is a jive phrase that essentially means to lie.
A woman who is regarded as evil and scheming.
Means talking trash.
It’s ambiguous: It means sell drugs, but also receive thousands of dollars.
Not Safe For Work.
It’s the act of shooting someone in the head.
Means fake in Italian slang.
A London Dry Gin. It is sold a various proofs, but the lowest seems to be 80 (or, around 40% abv). It is, in other words, a very strong drink.
It was a popular brand of glasses.
They were shoes made of plastic.
A pair of sunglasses
Synonym for carry
It is a game, in which the seeking team would try to grab kids on the hiding team and hold them long enough to say ‘Ringolevio 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3’.
Means to hold something, usually a drink, joint, cigarette, etc., for a long time without sharing it.
It refers to a weaving pattern of broken V-shapes, called such because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish
A Jamaican term of encouragement or otherwise good cheer.
Bae – A term of endearment typically used for one’s significant other. Can also be used to refer to a friend. (Ex: Hey bae, what’s up?)
Fam – Short for family. Used to refer to one’s close friends. (Ex: What’s up fam?)
lit – A term used to describe something that is exciting or fun. (Ex: That party was lit!)
turnt – A term used to describe someone who is drunk or high. (Ex: He was so turnt last night!)
Cheugy – A term used to describe something that is try-hard or cringey. (Ex: That outfit is so cheugy.)
Ghosted – When someone suddenly stops talking to you without any explanation. (Ex: I was ghosted by my best friend!)
High Key – The term “high key” is the antonym of “low key.” Low key originated in hip-hop and it’s used when you want to keep something low profile or relaxed. High key, however, is said when you want to emphasize your point – usually because you’re feeling emotional about it.
GOAT – An acronym that stands for “Greatest Of All Time.” (Ex: LeBron James is the GOAT.)
Shade – To give someone a dirty look or to insult someone. (Ex: She was throwing shade at me all night long.)
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