wrong side of the blanket

wrong side of the blanket

Referring to being born to parents who were not married. Used in the phrase "born on the wrong side of the blanket." His parents eventually married, but that boy was born on the wrong side of the blanket.
See also: blanket, of, side, wrong
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

wrong side of the blanket, born on the

Illegitimate. This term was current in the eighteenth century and may well be obsolete. Tobias Smollett used it in Humphry Clinker (1771): “My mother was an honest woman. I didn’t come in on the wrong side of the blanket.”
See also: born, of, on, side, wrong
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

wrong side of the blanket

Illegitimacy. A child born out of wedlock was said to have been born on the wrong side of the blanket, as if being under the covers was a luxury to which only legitimate babies were entitled. Other obsolescent phrases for an illegitimate baby are “natural child” and “love child.”
See also: blanket, of, side, wrong
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
So was his mother, the thirteen-year-old Lady Margaret Beaufort, great-granddaughter on the wrong side of the blanket of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, by Katherine Swynford.
The similarities between Cornwell's two heroes are obvious, with both men born the wrong side of the blanket, both brilliant fighters, both apparently irresistible to women, and who rise far above their station.
George Meany, the late AFL-CIO President, dubbed them "wards of the American labor movement." The large AFL craft unions believed they had been born on the wrong side of the blanket and were illegitimate.
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