hinterland
n. a region remote from urban areas; backcountry

Literally, hinterland means a land situated away from a coast. The word hinter (“behind”) is from High German, where it stretches all the way back to Old High German’s hintar. Land, of course, is no strange word to us—in this case, it’s from the Middle High German lant, which itself is a cognate of the Indo-European root lendh.

Colloquially, “hinterland” has come to mean the backcountry, and is generally used as a pejorative to describe the areas populated by bumpkins and rednecks. I just think it’s a great word (partially because I like German) because it’s a more intellectual insult

§1559 · December 20, 2006 · Tags: ·

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