Grant Barrett gbarrett at MONICKELS.COM
Thu Nov 2 18:00:31 UTC 2000

On jeudi 2 novembre 2000 15:27, Joe Pickett <Joe_Pickett at HMCO.COM> wrote:

>In Geneva Smitherman's "Black Talk," there is an entry for
>ghetto fabulous (sometimes ghetto fab) "Describes a person or thing that is
>fantastic, the height of something, according to the authentic, natural,
>"keepin it real" standards of Blackness that are believe to exist in ghetto


On jeudi 2 novembre 2000 15:28, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM> wrote:

>I don't think this is slang; it's just something like 'characteristic
>of or suitable for inner-city life'. A more common noun-to-adjective
>shift is _street_ in a similar sense. An example from a rap magazine:
>1997 _Source_ Oct. 146/3, I was so ghetto, threatening the crowd,
>talking about if anybody takes it, I'ma see you.

This are both inconsistent with my current main understanding of ghetto, which is
more in line with "white trash" values: cheap (tight, miserly), lazy, niggardly, maybe
jerry-rigged (half-assed), ill-mannered, uncouth, uncivilized.

Also, I see from the archives that in 1997 I posted this:

There's a New York City usage of "ghetto" that means something like:
"provincial/local/unworldly/neighborhood-dwelling/small-town-like." The young
Hispanic couple
I met lost in Central Park this past summer would be ghetto: After they told me they
had been lost
in the park for hours, I assumed they were from the outer boroughs or Jersey, but
they turned out
to be from Alphabet City (about 60 blocks away, a few miles at most).

A piece a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times Magazine (I believe) had a
Chinese-American who described himself and his friends as being very "ghetto" when
they would
walk 80 blocks to Gray's Papaya in order to eat 50 cent frankfurters and to avoid
paying $3.00
each for the round-trip subway ride. There was also a vague subtext of "ghetto"
customs that belonged only to a certain neighborhood (in this case New York's
Chinatown), such
as wearing a long lock of hair in the front, and wearing very wide-legged jeans (as
much as 30

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