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backstairs

[bak-stairz] /ˈbækˈstɛərz/
adjective
1.
associated or originating with household servants.
2.
secret, underhanded, or scandalous:
backstairs gossip.
Also, backstair.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; adj. use of back stairs
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for back-stair

backstairs

/ˈbækˈstɛəz/
plural noun
1.
a secondary staircase in a house, esp one originally for the use of servants
adjective
2.
underhand: backstairs gossip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for back-stair

backstairs

"stairs at the back of a structure," 1650s, from back (adj.) + stairs (see stair). Figurative use is attested earlier (1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
14
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