I worked at a residential teen treatment facility for many years. I loved and love those kids. I vividly remember the first day I worked there, a young buck not far past high school. I was sitting in the cafeteria eating dinner, and making a valiant attempt to cut through my chicken cordon bleu with a plastic fork. Obviously trying to cut too aggressively, my plastic fork suddenly broke in two. A young lady across the table from me got a hissy look on her face, rolled her eyes, and said "Ugh. That's so ghetto."
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Was she from the ghetto? Was my fork ghetto? Was the chicken cordon bleu ghetto? Was I ghetto? To this day, I don't know exactly was "ghetto".
The definition I gleaned over the years was that "ghetto" is kind of make-shift, cheap, less than, and just not very good.
I recently started giving my arms a little exercise, since they are, well, fairly scronny. The moral of the story is that the weights I lift are...ghetto. Two gallons of Wal-Mart distilled water. The thing is, I don't care that it's ghetto. It's convenient, and I don't have to try to make time to go to the gym. And if I get really thirsty, I have an ample supply of beverage right in my hands.