Skid Road

an excerpt from Maine Lingo: Boiled Owls, Billdads, & Wazzats by John Gould

SKID ROAD: This original Maine term has been much abused by the world at large. It is not, was not, and never can be a “skid row.” The skid road was an iced logging road over which oxen and horses pulled the sleds. On downgrades a snub line was used to keep the loads from running ahead on the animals. If this snub line parted, the team, driver, and load were said to be “sluiced,” and the driver, if he survived, well knew what it was like to go to hell-and-gone down a skid road. Cities that have “skid rows” have borrowed a Maine lumbering term without knowing what it means.