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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


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.


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 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


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.


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


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 periodicals archive ?
In a candid interview on The West Ham Way radio show this week, Gold admitted the season had been "dreadful" as they had budgeted for an, ted eighth-place finish.
The next batch of the prized ham is expected to finish the curing process and arrive in Taipei in early 2019.
Once your oven is at the right temperature, place your ham into the oven.
It can take as long as 36 months to cure a leg of ham, says Michael.
Totten ham could have cut leaders' Chelsea's advantage to one point with a victory but instead the gap will stretch to a seemingly unbridgeable seven with three games left if Chelsea beat struggling Middlesbrough at home on Monday.
Thus, the aim of the current work was to elucidate the effect of breed on the physicochemical composition, color, texture and sensory characteristics of dry-cured ham.
Stay tuned for next week when I share a potato and ham casserole with all those delicious leftovers
On Christmas Day, at least four hours before you want to eat, pre-heat oven to 160C/Gas mark 3, tip ham out of the water, rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel.
5kg piece of ham should take about three hours in a pot.
Lane County groups involved in ham radio hope the set-ups will inspire at least a few members of the public to learn more about the value of ham radios.
Wrapping smoked hams in parchment paper and then storing them in fly-proof muslin bags proved to be the most desirable method when hams are to be kept for several months at ordinary air temperatures, according to the results of a three-year test just completed at the Animal Husbandry Experiment in station, Beltsville, Maryland.
Thin slices of serrano ham can also be enjoyed with a variety of complementary foods, such as fresh fruit, cheese, toasted nuts, pickled vegetables and, of course, wine.
KRISTEN HARING HAS WRITTEN a valentine to the ham radio community.