seamy side

the seamy/seamier side (of something)

The aspects of something that are unpleasant, immoral, corrupt, or degrading. It was in the private donors' club after the fundraising dinner that we saw its seamier side, as the billionaires and corporate tycoons who claim to do so much good for the world engaged in all manner of illicit activity. The film is set in the seamy side of Hollywood in the early 1950s.
See also: seamy, side

seamy side

The sordid or base aspect of something, as in This nightclub certainly shows you the seamy side of the community. This term refers to the wrong side of a garment, revealing the stitched seams. Shakespeare used it figuratively in Othello (4:2): "That turn'd your wit the seamy side without."
See also: seamy, side

seamy side, the

The unsavory or worst aspect. This expression alludes to the wrong side of a garment or other fabric, in which the stitched seams show. It was first transferred by Shakespeare, “He turn’d your wit the seamy side without” (Othello, 4.2), and has been used ever since to describe the unfavorable side of things.
See also: seamy
References in classic literature ?
Instead of that he's got a first-rate practice on the seamy side, and every blackguard with half a case takes it straight to Bennett Addenbrooke.
Baudoyer, Isidore The Middle Classes Cousin Pons Bianchon, Horace Father Goriot The Atheist's Mass Cesar Birotteau The Commission in Lunacy Lost Illusions A Distinguished Provincial at Paris A Bachelor's Establishment The Secrets of a Princess Pierrette A Study of Woman Scenes from a Courtesan's Life Honorine The Seamy Side of History The Magic Skin A Second Home A Prince of Bohemia Letters of Two Brides The Muse of the Department The Imaginary Mistress The Middle Classes Cousin Betty The Country Parson In addition, M.
He is full of quickness and penetration, piercing easily below the clumsy platitudes of Thrasymachus to the real difficulty; he turns out to the light the seamy side of human life, and yet does not lose faith in the just and true.
I have seen a good deal of the seamy side this last week.
All the seamy side of things, all the secret reasons and rotten motives and bribery arid blackmail they call politics.
She knew of life's seamy side as a theory; she could not grasp it as a fact.
This book consists of nine stories in which the author brings the reader face to face with the seamy side of everyday life, where, somewhere in the province, hopelessness and despair of the endless Balkan transition meet one another in the most radical way.
While photographing the Bowery and ManhattanAEs skid row, under the auspices of the DepressionAEs Federal Art Project, an older male supervisor warned her that nice girls donAEt go to the seamy side of town.
Josh's attraction to Trent's sister, Brenda, further complicates what becomes a murder mystery, as well as a tour of the seamy side of biking culture.
This is the seamy side of earmarks, and it's the reason they've been a longtime target of good-government groups, whose opposition grew stronger as the number of earmarks in the federal budget exploded.
Patience, now 55, reveals the seamy side of life as a top model in a tell-all book titled Where Do You Go To My Lovely - a nod to Peter Sarstedt's hit of the same name about a poor girl joining the jet set.
No wonder he was soon sampling the seamy side of DC nightlife with a couple of unsavory characters pseudonymized here as "Mike" and "John."
His works from the immediate postwar period were described by his eldest son Dennis as 'somber slices from the seamy side of life,' and by granddaughter Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez, a curator and assistant professor of art studies at the University of the Philippines, as 'proto-social realism.'
Illich touched the same issue in a controversial article in America magazine in 1967, "The Seamy Side of Charity" But Illich argued that the best solution was for missionaries, particularly priests, to simply leave Latin America, since their well-intentioned "charity" only continued ecclesial dependencies on the United States.