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A squalid district inhabited by derelicts and vagrants; also, a life of impoverished dissipation. For example, That part of town is our skid row, or His drinking was getting so bad we thought he was headed for skid row. This expression originated in the lumber industry, where it signified a road or track made of logs laid crosswise over which logs were slid. Around 1900 the name Skid Road was used for the part of a town frequented by loggers, which had many bars and brothels, and by the 1930s the variant skid row, with its current meaning, came into use.
(on) skid ˈrow(informal, especially American English) people who are on skid row live in a very poor part of town where there are many social problems: When he went bankrupt he lost everything, and ended up living on skid row for a few years. OPPOSITE: on easy streetThis expression came from the phrase skid road, referring to the poor part of towns where loggers (= people who cut down trees or cut and transported wood) lived. Originally a skid road was a road made of large pieces of wood, used for moving logs to the mill.
n. the name for a place populated with ruined alcoholics and other down-and-out people. Just because they’re on skid row, it doesn’t mean they’re beyond help.