Word of the Day Archive
Friday February 13, 2004
hinterland \HIN-tur-land\ , noun:
1. A region situated inland from a coast.
2. A region remote from urban areas; backcountry.
3. A region situated beyond the major metropolitan or cultural centers.
After the plains, I could see in my mind's eye the mountains of Bosnia emerging abruptly, shrouded by mist or haze. Clouds on rocks. Birds circling. The smell of pine and plum brandy. Beyond that the oleander and the heady, Dalmatian coast opening out like some lush dream from the backdrop of a stony hinterland.
-- Roger Cohen, Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo
It is hard to imagine from within our cultural envelope, but try: You live in a country ruled by an elusive, all-powerful leader, where through no fault of your own you find yourself in an even more faraway corner, one bordering on sprawling prairie and desert hinterland.
-- David M. Bethea, "Swallowed Again and Again", New York Times, November 17, 1996
Cities did nothing for me. It was the hinterlands that made me.
-- Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend
Hinterland comes from German Hinterland, "the land behind (the coast)," from hinter, "behind" (from Middle High German, from Old High German hintar) + Land, "land" (from Middle High German lant, from Old High German).