Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
November 15, 2011
: situated on the north side of the Alps : transalpine
: lying on or coming from the other side of a mountain range
He kept a journal on his journey to the tramontane region of the country.

"The lesser known area of Emporda, just across the border from Roussillon in France, is a rugged hilly area where wild herbs have a stronghold. The vines hang on as the tramontane winds whip across the area mixing the aromas of the pollen." -- From an article by Colin Pressdee in the Daily Post (Liverpool), August 28, 2010
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Did You Know?
The journey of "tramontane" into English starts in Latin and begins with the coming together of the prefix "trans-," meaning "across" or "beyond," and "montanus," meaning "of a mountain." When the word entered Italian, it did so as "tramontano" and referred to people or things on or from the other side of a mountain range -- specifically, the Alps. "Tramontano" then traveled into English during the late 16th century as both the adjective "tramontane," with the same meaning as the Italian word, and as the noun "tramontane," meaning "one dwelling in a tramontane region" or "a foreigner." During the 18th century, the adjective began carrying the meaning "barbarous," but that meaning is now rarely -- if ever -- used.

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