Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A sandwich made with ham.
- (US) Something utterly commonplace, of modest value.
1900, Charles A. Conant, “The Financial Future of the United States”, in The Bankers magazine, volume 61, page 603:
- but did you ever hear of a young man, who becomes a millionaire in the approved style, starting life on a farm, studying by the light of a tallow dip, and coming to the city with forty-five cents and a ham sandwich
1920 April 15, Dr. Albert F. Blakeslee, “letter on Sexuality in Mucors”, in Science, page 375:
- One of last year's speakers, in distinguishing types of true research worth while from investigations unworthy of the name, held up to ridicule a hypothetical investigation of a ham sandwich and the pseudo-scientist who would attempt a monographic treatment of such a subject.
1998 September 15, Tony Kornheiser, “Up for the Game, Down for the Count”, in Washington Post:
- But regardless of how enamored you may be of Green's manner and his potential, it has to come as a shock to you that he's the starter. A month ago you could have had him for a ham sandwich
2004, David J. Darling, The universal book of mathematics: from Abracadabra to Zeno's paradoxes, page 106:
- After all, nothing is better than eternal happiness, and a ham sandwich is certainly better than nothing. Therefore a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.
2008 September 15, “Jury Papers Cast Doubt On Rosenberg Conviction”, in Talk of the Nation (NPR):
- Even without the typing bit, the grand jury indicted her; one has to keep that in mind. / This was the Cold War, and we always remember the old line for prosecutors that you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.
2009 June, Ezra Dyer, “The Car That Should Save GM”, in Esquire, volume 151, number 6, page 28:
- It's sports-car fast, has a big leather-trimmed interior, and costs as much as a ham sandwich.