What does ‘wrong side of the tracks’ mean?
The idiom "wrong side of the tracks" refers to a disadvantaged or dangerous area, typically associated with lower socioeconomic status and higher crime rates.
"other side of the tracks" is another idiom that is related to the phrase "wrong side of the tracks." It is often used to contrast with the concept of the wrong side, implying that there is a better or more desirable side to be on. This idiom can be applied in various contexts, such as discussing social class, economic status, or even personal choices. It suggests that there is a divide between two different groups or outcomes, with one being more advantageous than the other.
For example, someone might say, "I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but I worked hard to move to the other side and create a better life for myself." In this context, "other side of the tracks" represents a more prosperous or successful position, contrasting with the hardships and challenges of the wrong side. The idiom emphasizes the possibility of overcoming adversity and achieving upward mobility.
"on the wrong side of history" is another idiom that is related to the concept of the wrong side of the tracks. This idiom is often used in discussions about social and political issues, particularly when referring to individuals or groups whose beliefs or actions are considered to be morally or ethically wrong. It suggests that these individuals or groups will ultimately be judged unfavorably by future generations and that their position or actions will be seen as misguided or regressive.
When someone is said to be on the wrong side of history, it implies that their beliefs or actions are out of step with the progressive or enlightened values that are expected to prevail in the future. This idiom recognizes the evolving nature of societal norms and values, highlighting the importance of aligning oneself with the prevailing moral and ethical standards.
For example, someone might say, "Those who oppose equal rights for all are on the wrong side of history. The tide of progress cannot be stopped, and future generations will look back on their stance with dismay." In this context, "wrong side of history" means that opposing equal rights goes against the trajectory of societal progress and will ultimately be viewed as a moral failing.
The idioms "other side of the tracks" and "on the wrong side of history" are related to the concept of the wrong side of the tracks in different ways. "Other side of the tracks" refers to a more desirable or advantageous position, contrasting with the challenges and disadvantages of the wrong side. "On the wrong side of history" refers to beliefs or actions that are considered morally or ethically wrong and are expected to be judged unfavorably by future generations. These idioms highlight the social, economic, and moral divisions that exist in society and emphasize the importance of aligning oneself with progressive values and ideals.
Examples of how the idiom "wrong side of the tracks" can be used in a sentence:
- He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and had to work hard to overcome the disadvantages.
- The town's wealthiest families lived in the upper-class neighborhood, while the lower-income families were located on the wrong side of the tracks.
- She felt out of place attending the prestigious university as she came from the wrong side of the tracks.