skid row

skid row

[roh]
noun
an area of cheap barrooms and run-down hotels, frequented by alcoholics and vagrants.
Also called Skid Road.


Origin:
1930–35, Americanism; earlier skid road an area of a town frequented by loggers, originally a skidway

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
skid row or skid road (rəʊ)
 
n
slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) a dilapidated section of a city inhabited by vagrants, etc
 
skid road or skid road
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

skid row
1931, from skid road "track of skids along which logs are rolled" (1851), from skid (n.). The sense was extended to "part of town inhabited by loggers" (1906), then, by hobos, to "disreputable district" (1915).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

skid row

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Synonyms
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