the seamy side

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the ˈseamy side (of life, etc.)

the unpleasant, dishonest or immoral aspects (of life, etc.): It’s well known that the world of entertainment has its seamy side: drug abuse, corruption, alcoholism...
See also: seamy, side
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
He prevailed upon the editors of the Jesuit journal America to publish "The Seamy Side of Charity" right before the commencement of the 1967 meeting of the Catholic Inter-American Cooperation Program, an annual conference designed to encourage American interest in Latin America and the Latin American church.
"Chicago" explores the seamy side of the Windy City during the roaring, crime-infested 1920s using a witty script and clever songs that entertain as they advance the narrative, all built upon brilliant choreography - alternately aerobic and restrained - by the legendary Bob Fosse.
The seamy side of smuggling human cargo is deftly exposed by the clear and concise writing of the Edgar Award nominated author Levine.
Exuberant, exciting, gaudy, and gritty in a way that can only be called Dickensian, Slumdog Millionaire brings contemporary Mumbai to life from the seamy side up, and it does so with brio, compassion, and all-round cinematic excellence.
He says that "Slumdog Millionaire" brings contemporary Mumbai to life from the seamy side up, "and it does so with brio, compassion and all-round cinematic excellence."
Rock is among about 100 witnesses, including actors Sylvester Stallone, Farrah Fawcett and Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, called to testify for the prosecution in a trial that has exposed the seamy side of the movie industry.
Jill Hartman's images of Calgary all seem to be from the seamy side of town (71).
Scornfully dismissing the PRC literary establishment and its Chinese Writers' Association as generally lacking in talent and frankness, Zhu Wen revels in portraying the seamy side of a crassly consumerist urban milieu in 199os China.
My sin is more one of exaggeration, hence my promise in the parish newsletter to tell "rollicking tales of the seamy side of Fleet Street" when I speak in Crookham Village Hall at 7.30pm next Thursday.
"Before End In Tears reaches a dramatic and highly satisfying conclusion, Rendell displays her incomparable skills to full effect, providing suspense and surprise as she explores interracial dating, baby-smuggling, the seamy side of the Internet and the importance of having the right accent." ANN HELLMUTH
Only in Didion's vision, the seamy side of democracy has become a full-scale global delusion and imperial folly: Victor's affair takes place in Southeast Asia at the time of the fall of Saigon, and is interspersed with dyspeptic flashbacks from earlier U.S.
For 15 years, she remained in her ivory tower in south-east London, sheltered from the seamy side of the animal kingdom.
Horrible Histories, a series of gruesome tales about the seamy side of life in days gone by, seems to appeal to children of all ages.
THE seamy side of football will be exposed in a new play due to be staged at the Liverpool Everyman.
In it, Robson extols the virtues of the football coverage in the country's biggest-selling Sunday paper, anorgan that happily dishes the dirt on the seamy side of the game.