wrong side of the tracks, the

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

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