Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ghetto adj.

[SE ghetto]

1. second-rate, old-fashioned, inferior, badly made [negative connotations].

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 5: ghetto – not cleanly done, sketchy: ‘That last pool shot I made was so ghetto.’ Not properly put together or built: ‘The parts of my bike don’t even fit right. It looks ghetto.’ Dirty, in shambles: ‘I feel ghetto this morning.’.
[US]Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry 🌐 ghetto adj./adv. 1. Something undesirable. ‘That place is ghetto’ 2. Acting out of control or just trying to receive attention. ‘Marisa, stop acting ghetto!’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr.
[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 5: I didn’t have to queue up with the free dinner ghetto kids at school.
[US]Simon & Burns Generation Kill ‘Get Some’ ep. 1 [TV script] Here we are invading a country with ghetto hoopdies.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 293: Not cool, Rambo. All ghetto and unprofessional and shit.

2. superior, first-rate [bad = good model].

[US]UGK ‘Good Stuff’ 🎵 I got the haters, and the jackers [...] / Tryin’ to close me down, but I got ghetto love.
Online Sl. Dict. 🌐 ghetto adj [...] 2. of superior quality, excellent; COOL. (‘Man, his shit is ghetto!’).

3. tough, aggressive, confrontational [perceived positive connotations].

Poor Righteous Teachers ‘So Many Teachers’ 🎵 Strictly I be ghetto, so you know it’s from the heart.
[US]Source Oct. 146/3: I was so ghetto, threatening the crowd, talking about if anybody takes it, I’ma see you.
[US]N. Kelley ‘The Code’ in Brooklyn Noir 182: She was hard like him, ghetto.
[US]J. Hannaham Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit 74: How rude! So ghetto!

SE in slang uses

In compounds

ghetto bird (n.) [bird n.1 (7); the use of police surveillance helicopters above ghetto areas]

(US black) a police helicopter.

[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z.
Online Sl. Dict. 🌐 ghetto bird n 1. a police helicopter using a spotlight. (‘Hey, the ghetto bird is out.’).
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 ghetto bird Definition: the police helicopter Example: Mane [sic] da ghetto bird be creepin up on us.
[US]Teen Lingo: The Source for Youth Ministry 🌐 ghetto bird n. A police helicopter. Known as the only thing that flies in the ghetto.
[UK]Sun. Times 6 Nov. 🌐 One black businesswoman, an acquaintance, was unforgiving: [...] ‘Lenny wants black people on TV but not in his bed. We too ghetto for him? Dark skin not sexy enough?’.
ghetto blaster (n.) (also ghetto box, ...buster) [its orig. link to black ghetto youths; thus derog. stereotyping; note box n.1 (4c)]

a large stereo tape recorder-cum-radio carried by youths.

[US]Johnson City Press (TN) 6 Dec. 26/2: A ‘ghetto-blaster’ on the shoulder of a young boy scratches forth Top 40 Noise.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Senior Citizen Caine’ in Minder [TV script] 36: Here you see this. They call them ghetto blasters.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 86: A ghetto blaster about the same size as a large suitcase.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 21: Whenever we had to sit outside we always took a ghetto box with us.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 227: Packing all his clothes, his shaving gear and his ghetto-blaster.
[UK]G. Small Ruthless 246: A plethora of audio cassettes, a top-of-the-range ghettoblaster [...] and his trusty Beretta.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] She has a ghetto blaster with her.
[UK]C. McPherson Port Authority 1: Drinking cider and playing Billy Idol on his ghettoblaster.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Rosa Marie’s Baby (2013) [ebook] ‘I got a ghetto blaster and some good tapes’.
[UK]Times Mag. 30 Apr. 50/3: The buldings and the ghetto blaster at first sight suggest street-cred urban deprivation.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 2: Summer jams pumped out of ghetto blasters.
ghetto booty (n.) (also ghetto bootie) [booty n.2 (2)]

(US black) attractive female buttocks.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 4: ghetto booty – large rear end.
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 ghetto booty Definition: nicely shaped, somewhat large buttocks. Example: Damn that woman got some good ghetto booty!
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 334: He said I had a ghetto bootie [...] You know . . . a butt like a black chick.
ghetto champagne (n.)

(US black) cheap, potent liquor.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 ghetto champagne Definition: cheap, potent liquor, usually 40s or malt liquor. Gets you more drunk for your dolla’. Example: Yo bitch! Gimme five dollars so I can get some ghetto champagne and get my drink on!
ghettofabulous (adj.)

(US black) referring to anything flashy and impressive in black culture, spec. fashion.

[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Ghetto fabulous (adj.) A good thing that is ghetto.
[US]R. Cea No Lights, No Sirens 45: Roxanne, another ghetto fabulous, sexy Latina.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 95: One of those ghetto fabulous girls.
[US]‘Dutch’ ? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] She was wild [...] ghetto fabulous, but it all caught up with her.
ghetto onion (n.)

(US black) a large, well-rounded pair of buttocks.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 ghetto onion Definition: a large, well-rounded pair of buttocks. Example: Damn! Jennifer Lopez sho’ has a ghetto onion!
ghetto shelf

(US) a large, well-rounded pair of buttocks. 🌐 ‘That bitch got a full trunk, dog, [...] Mm - mm - mm. Nice ghetto shelf fo' a white girl’.
ghetto sled (n.) [sled n. (1)]

(US black) a large, 70s-model automobile.

[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Ghetto Sled (noun) A car that looks like it has gone through hell and back but which the driver thinks is the shit.
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 ghetto sled Definition: extremely long sedan, typically dating from the mid-70’s. Example: Ned, I’ll swing by your place and pick up you and Thelma in my ghetto sled you trick-ass bitch!
ghetto star (n.) [SE star/star n.1 (5)]

(US black gang) a leading gangster.

[US]L. Bing Do or Die (1992) 226: The people actually involved in the attack on B-Dog were ‘ghetto stars’ — O.G.’s with very, very serious reputations.
[US]K. Scott Monster (1994) 5: A Ghetto Star is a neighborhood celebrity known for gangbanging, drug dealing, and so on.