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See also: go HAM and go H.A.M.


Alternative formsEdit


Anacronymic form of go HAM, go H.A.M. under influence from ham, from go hard as a motherfucker, intensified form of go hard. The semantic connection between going hard as a synonym for both working hard and being brutal may reflect influence from criminal and prison slang referencing beatings and stabbings as work.



go ham (third-person singular simple present goes ham, present participle going ham, simple past went ham, past participle gone ham)

  1. (African-American Vernacular, MLE) To go hard as a motherfucker, variously intending
    1. (African-American Vernacular, MLE) To work extremely hard.
    2. (African-American Vernacular, MLE) To do an extremely good job.
    3. (African-American Vernacular, MLE) To go crazy.
    4. (African-American Vernacular, MLE) To lose one's temper, especially to rage at someone.
      • 2011 August, Jay-Z and Kanye West, “H•A•M”, Watch the Throne, deluxe edition, Roc-A-Fella Records:
        I'm about to go HAM / Hard as a muthafucker, let these niggas know who I am
      • 2014, Makala Thomas, Count Angelo, page 157:
        “Clover went in. And she's so calm and gentle normally! I didn't expect her to go ham like that. Will Patricia's arm mend?”
        “Not for a while.”
        “Serves her right. She went ham on me for no reason.”
        Angelo shrugged a shoulder. “She blames you for Marissa's state.”
      • 2014, Ms. Michel Moore, Coldhearted & Crazy: Say U Promise I:
        In between the guys in the crowd having to be told what was really good and now Ty acting like he owned her and her hustle, she went ham. “Main girl?” Kenya finally had enough of his ass. “Nigga, what? Please don't coach mines. You got me all fucked up in the game. Fall back and don't play yourself!”
      • 2016 September 14, MizorMac (lyrics), “Splash & Cash”, performed by 67(R6 x ST) & Harlem (Bis x MizzorMac):
        My flats called Harlem darling
        Coz the place full of cats
        Feds go ham

Usage notesEdit

The acronymic origin of ham is not always known or immediately understood, to the extent that go ham is typically far less offensive or vulgar as other expressions using motherfucker.