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:  https://stackoverflow.com/users/chat-stackexchange-login

What does ghetto login route mean, here?

  • I suspect the allusion here is to driving through "ghetto" areas that a wealthy car commuter wouldn't actually visit, but which they might use as "rat runs". Such a driver is using a back street access route, just as a computer "hacker" (or a temporarily locked out legitimate user) uses back door access to break in to a system (potentially bypassing normal "traffic control" in both cases). Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 2
    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
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 13:40
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    A good synonym, in that sense, would be the less colloquial "jury-rigged."
    – Uticensis
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 13:42
  • 2
    @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
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:10

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