hinterland: Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day

Word of the Day – hinterland http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/2016/10/13 at Dictionary.com

This is an interesting word in that it has sort of different meanings to each person. It brings up the memories of childhood; some pleasant and maybe some not so pleasant.

It reminds me of a word I used to hear very often – boondocks. There is even a song about the boondocks. Seems like that song was yesterday but it was many years ago. This word comes from the name of a town in the Philippines – Bontoc. There is more than one town in the Philippines with that name. Now how did Bontoc become boondocks?

The reason has to do with the US military in the Philippines. Bontoc is usually a small town in the province (the area most Filipinos associate with rural, agricultural places). When a person from the US would talk about something far away, he or she would refer to Bontoc. As in most languages, time got involved and the “mishearing” of the word made it boondocks and in the US it came to mean a place far away out in the hills or in a rural and agricultural area.

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