from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Slang A squalid district inhabited chiefly by derelicts and vagrants.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An especially dilapidated section of a city, characterized by run-down or abandoned buildings, alcoholism and homelessness, and vices such as drug dealing and prostitution.
- n. A colloquial designation of a run-down district of Los Angeles.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a city district frequented by vagrants and alcoholics and addicts
Alteration of skid road (from the fact that it once referred to a downtown area frequented by loggers).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably from skid road ("a road along which logs were skidded"), transferred to the streets of towns where loggers had recreation on their time off. (Wiktionary)