tramontane was our Word of the Day on 11/15/2011. Hear the podcast!
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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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