associated or originating with household servants.
secret, underhanded, or scandalous:
backstairs gossip.
Contemporary Examples

Which means that every seat contains someone who is reclining straight into the lap of their backstairs neighbor.
Should People Stop Reclining Their Seats? Megan McArdle February 19, 2013

Historical Examples

But I hope one of the results of this war will be the end of backstairs diplomacy.
Face to Face with Kaiserism James W. Gerard

“That’s truth enough,” said an asthmatic voice from the backstairs.
The Manxman Hall Caine

At that moment, Mary Ellen, having heard the voice of her mistress, projected her face above the doorsill of the backstairs.
Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche

We will go to my room by the backstairs, then we sha’n’t disturb anybody.
Unlucky Caroline Austin

Jewel found the backstairs and ascended them, her little heart hot within her.
Jewel Clara Louise Burnham

He wasn’t groom of the backstairs to England’s queen for nothing.
The Lion and The Mouse Charles Klein

The backstairs one would not choose; but what other way was there?
The Lady of Lynn Walter Besant

Verus was no schemer; he walked in at the front door with a free and careless step, and scorned to climb the backstairs.
The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers

But where, oh, where was the exiled Phelan when the bogus Gladwin went on his backstairs investigation?
Officer 666 Barton W. Currie

plural noun
a secondary staircase in a house, esp one originally for the use of servants
underhand: backstairs gossip

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


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