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[ham-bohn] /ˈhæmˌboʊn/
noun, Theater
(especially in vaudeville) a performer made up in blackface and using a stereotyped black dialect.
Origin of hambone
1850-55; ham1 + bone; cf. ham2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hambone
  • Because it's fun to watch an actress sink her teeth into such a great big hambone of a role.
  • The beans were largely seasoned by the leftover hambone from the previous night's dinner.
Word Origin and History for hambone

1855, "bone of a ham," from ham (n.1) + bone (n.). Meaning "inferior actor or performer" is from 1893, an elaboration of ham (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hambone



: The night's most ebullient winner was Finkel, who plays the hambone attorney


A person who fancies himself an actor; histrionic self-advertiser; ham: Every hambone from the deep sticks was constrained to make a speech for the benefit of the cameras (1893+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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