Barbary Coast

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Barbary Coast

(bär`bərē), waterfront area of San Francisco, Calif., in the years after the 1849 gold rush. Gamblers, gangsters, prostitutes, and confidence men flourished, and the brothels, saloons, and disreputable boardinghouses made the Barbary Coast—named after the pirate coast of North Africa—notorious throughout the world.

Barbary Coast

the. the Mediterranean coast of North Africa: a centre of piracy against European shipping from the 16th to the 19th centuries