Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Marc Gravell recently provided this answer to a question on Meta Stack Overflow:

If you try Jeff's link above, and everything reports OK but it still doesn't work, please let me know. In the interim, there is a ghetto login route:
http://{some site}/users/chat-stackexchange-login

for example:  http://stackoverflow.com/users/chat-stackexchange-login

What does ghetto login route mean, here?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

To call something ghetto is to say it is inferior to the usual variety of something. It's a short-cut, cheap but serviceable perhaps, low-grade, whatever. It comes from "the ghetto", which is how people refer to the Inner City urban areas in the United States where a lot of the poorer people live. From Webster's:

ghetto a part of a city, esp. a slum area, occupied by a minority group or groups.

It has in the last few years acquired the wider currency I mention above. So a "ghetto login route" would be a way to login that is non-standard and not really what people would consider a "proper" way to do a login.

share|improve this answer
1  
It should be stressed that using "ghetto" as an adjective does not always confer a negative connotation, as one might take away considering only the word "inferior." While performing a task in a "ghetto" fashion is certainly doing something in an illegitimate or nonstandard way, it can also be used in the sense of describing an acceptable or even clever kludge. If, being adept, I transform a car that has been consigned to the dust heap into a serviceable vehicle that gets me to work, I might still describe the solution as "ghetto" despite the fact I'm justifiably proud of it. –  Uticensis Feb 18 '11 at 13:40
1  
A good synonym, in that sense, would be the less colloquial "jury-rigged." –  Uticensis Feb 18 '11 at 13:42
1  
@Billare: Noted. Another synonym would be "hillbilly": the way the American troops in Iraq outfitted their Humvees with "hillbilly" armor. Not an ideal solution, but better than getting blown up. –  Robusto Feb 18 '11 at 14:10

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.