What does Ratchet mean?

A hip-hop slang term that was once an insult meaning uncouth or ill-fit. The word is similar to "wretched", said with a Louisianan dialect, and has since come to be a compliment.


Other definitions of Ratchet:

  • Mispronunciation of the word "wretched" that has a few connotations within rap culture. It can mean poor or "hot mess", but also real and unfiltered.
  • Alteration of the word "wretched" that sounds like "rat shit" — a semi-offensive term within the hip-hop community. It is, however, beginning to be co-opted once again to mean fierce or genuine.
  • A derogatory term for a person, usually female and particularly women of color, who is tasteless or classless. However the term has transformed meaning and can mean fierce or real.

All of our slang term and phrase definitions are made possible by our wonderful visitors. If you know of another definition of Ratchet that should be included here, please let us know.

How to use the term

  • I'm a savage (yeah)
    Classy, bougie, ratchet (yeah)
    -Megan Thee Stallion, SAVAGE

  • My problem with Miss Cyrus stems from her appropriating Black culture, specifically ratchet culture, to make her music more urban.

  • Covered from head to toe in my knock-off designer shell, I had finally become the ratchet person I was meant to be.


There are no references for Ratchet at this time. We would greatly appreciate your contribution if you would like to submit your own!

More slang terms:



Now I Could Use A Raise



Short period of time


Multiple hearts