ham

(redirected from a ham)

be under (one's) wing

To be protected, tutored, nurtured, or cared for by one. I was nervous starting an internship at my uncle's company, but it definitely made it easier being under his wing. Our parents died when we were quite young, so my sister and I were under our grandmother's wing for most of our lives.
See also: wing

HAM

rude slang An abbreviation for "hard as a motherfucker." Usually used as an intensifier. We lost because the other team went HAM from the opening face-off to the final buzzer—and we sure didn't.

ham-fisted

1. Uncoordinated or clumsy with one's hands. My mother does beautiful calligraphy, but I'm so ham-fisted that I can barely hold the pen. No, I'm too ham-fisted to repair that delicate figurine.
2. Inept in one's personal interactions. Tommy is so ham-fisted that he'll never be able to mediate this situation.

ham it up

To act in an exaggerated way, typically in order to be funny. Your daughter loves to ham it up for the camera—you might have a little actress on your hands!
See also: ham, up

ham up

To exaggerate a performance or act in an overstated or over-the-top manner, often to the level of being irksome or inappropriate. A noun or pronoun can be used between "ham" and "up." This is a serious play, so please don't ham up your part. My toddlers like to ham it up whenever we have company.
See also: ham, up

ham-handed

In a clumsy manner; lacking care and skill. The candidate's ham-handed attempts to woo voters just ended up annoying them. Sorry for all the typos—I'm too ham-handed to hit the right keys on this tiny keyboard.

ham something up

Fig. to make a performance seem silly by showing off or exaggerating one's part. (A show-off actor is known as a ham.) Come on, Bob. Don't ham it up! The play was going fine until Bob got out there and hammed up his part.
See also: ham, up

ham up

Exaggerate or overdo, especially with extravagant emotion, as in Hamming up the eulogy was disgraceful, especially since he didn't even know the deceased. It is also put as ham it up, meaning "overact," as in She loves to ham it up in front of the class. This idiom probably alludes to the hamfat (lard) used to remove stage makeup, mentioned in the minstrel song, "The Ham-Fat Man." From this hamfatter came to mean "an inexpert and flamboyant actor," and was in the late 1800s shortened to ham. The idiom here was first recorded in 1933.
See also: ham, up

ˌham it ˈup

(informal) (especially of actors) when people ham it up, they deliberately exaggerate their emotions or movements: When we realized we were being filmed, we all started behaving differently, hamming it up for the cameras.
A ham is an informal word for an actor who performs badly, especially by exaggerating emotions.
See also: ham, up

ham

1. n. an actor; a bad actor. (see also hams.) What a ham! A real showoff.
2. n. an amateur radio operator. (A nickname.) My brother is a ham, and he helped a lot during the emergency.

ham-handed

mod. lacking dexterity; clumsy. If I wasn’t so ham-handed, I could probably fix the thing myself.

hams

1. n. legs; hips. Her great hams extended over the sides of the chair.
2. n. the hamstring muscles. (Bodybuilding.) Can you think of any exercises that would be good for my hams?
See also: ham
References in classic literature ?
THERE were two red lobsters, and a ham, a fish, a pudding, and some pears and oranges.
In the pickling of hams they had an ingenious apparatus, by which they saved time and increased the capacity of the plant--a machine consisting of a hollow needle attached to a pump; by plunging this needle into the meat and working with his foot, a man could fill a ham with pickle in a few seconds.
Cut up by the two-thousand-revolutions- a-minute flyers, and mixed with half a ton of other meat, no odor that ever was in a ham could make any difference.
His eyeballs don't glaze over like a ham when you chat about how he must, must rent Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.