wrong side of the tracks

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Originated from municipalities where the sections were divided by railway tracks.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

NounEdit

wrong side of the tracks

  1. (idiomatic) The part of town that is not inhabited by the wealthy. An area where the working class, poor or extremely poor live.
    He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he made a success of himself.
    • 2011, Douglas Kennedy, The Moment: A Novel, Simon and Schuster (→ISBN), page 173:
      “Can you come over to the wrong side of the tracks?” she asked, an amused dryness underscoring the delivery of that question. “Always.” “I was, of course, referring to geographical matters. You live in the more chic part of Kreuzberg.”
    • 2012, Donald Spivey, If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, University of Missouri Press (→ISBN), page 1:
      Leroy Robert Page (the change in spelling of the last name is a story in itself) was born on the wrong side of the tracks in a hostile South that had long ago defined him and his kind as just another “throwaway nigger.”

TranslationsEdit

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