the wrong side of the tracks

the wrong side of the tracks

A part of a town or city that is particularly impoverished (and usually dangerous or undesirable as a result). "Tracks" refers to railroad tracks, which are sometimes thought of as demarcating different economic areas of a town. I was always looked down on as a kid because I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. His mother didn't want him dating anyone from the wrong side of the tracks.
See also: of, side, track, wrong

side of the tracks

See also: of, side, track

wrong side of the tracks

See also: of, side, track, wrong

the wrong side of the tracks

a poor or less prestigious part of town. informal
The expression, American in origin, comes from the idea of a town divided by a railroad track. In 1929 , Thorne Smith wrote ‘In most commuting towns…there are always two sides of which the tracks serve as a line of demarcation. There is the right side and the wrong side. Translated into terms of modern American idealism, this means, the rich side and the side that hopes to be rich.’
1977 Listener Eva Duarte Peron…came from the wrong side of the tracks.
See also: of, side, track, wrong

wrong side of the tracks

n. the poor side of town. I’m glad I’m from the wrong side of the tracks. I know what life is really like.
See also: of, side, track, wrong

wrong side of the tracks, the

The undesirable side of town. This term came into being after the building of railroads, which often sharply divided a town into two districts, one prosperous and one not. (Of course, the same phenomenon had existed prior to railroad tracks.) Thus Miss Cholmondeley wrote, in Diana Tempest (1893), “The poor meagre home in a dingy street; the wrong side of Oxford Street.”
See also: of, side, wrong

wrong side of the tracks

The less desirable part of town. In many 19th- and early-20th-century America, railroad tracks divided a city or town. On one side was the middle- and upper-class residential and commercial area. On the other were factories and residential shacks and tenements. Since residents of the former made class distinctions and applied appropriate language, anyone from the other part of town came from the wrong side of the tracks.
See also: of, side, track, wrong
References in periodicals archive ?
The appeal should be heard by those associated with society's most unruly individuals and they must bring pressure to bear on those who live on the wrong side of the tracks.
Jersey Boys tells the true story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, invented their own unique sound and sold 175 million records worldwide.
Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Wells is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor.
The two main teenage characters, Harry and Charlie, are disparate in many ways--the former is a recent emigre to Las Vegas from the UK, with money behind him, and the latter is a girl from 'the wrong side of the tracks' who could just turn out to be the new Katniss Everdeen.
film Lady Bird Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the wrong side of the tracks. She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school.
Ivy and Dogg turn the stereotypes of established high school tropes -- the popular kid and the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, the athlete and the nerd -- inside out.
THEATRE Jersey Boys This Olivier Award-winning musical tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who sold over four million record worldwide as The Four Seasons.
It is peak Las Vegas, peak sporting showbiz, peak ragsto-riches stuff, with two men from the wrong side of the tracks earning untold riches from their set-to.
Her death and the mass hysteria that followed it show why the power-dressing girl from the wrong side of the tracks captured Argentinian hearts.
Andy McDonald's letter is very near the truth in saying that this government is destroying the hopes and dreams of clever kids born on the wrong side of the tracks. Should these kids not be so clever, I am sure that they will be motivated in attaining something worthwhile.
Most of society blames the destruction on withdrawal symptoms, but five previously medicated teens from the wrong side of the tracks decide to take matters into their own hands.
It tells the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.
Following their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks, these four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history.
Robert's character in Twlight, Edward, is like that moody kid on the wrong side of the tracks who every girl wanted to try and fix.
Discover how four New Jersey boys from the wrong side of the tracks invented their own sound, wrote their own songs, and became one of the biggest pop sensations of all time, taking the world by storm, all before the age of 30.