Word of the Day : February 13, 2017

transpontine

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adjective trans-PAHN-tyne

Definition

1 : situated on the farther side of a bridge

2 : (British) situated on the south side of the Thames

Did You Know?

Usually the prefix trans-, meaning "across," allows for a reciprocal perspective. Whether you're in Europe or America, for example, transoceanic countries are countries across the ocean from where you are. But that's not the way it originally worked with transpontine. The pont- in transpontine is from the Latin pons, meaning "bridge," and the bridge in this case was, at first, any bridge that crossed the River Thames in the city of London. "Across the bridge" meant on one side of the river only—the south side. That's where the theaters that featured popular melodramas were located, and Victorian Londoners used transpontine to distinguish them from their more respectable cispontine ("situated on the nearer side of a bridge") counterparts north of the Thames.



Examples

Traffic on the Tobin Bridge was at a near standstill, and it took us twenty minutes to reach our transpontine destination in Charlestown.

"The moment Waterloo Bridge was planned across the Thames, a new theatre to serve the transpontine coach trade was inevitable." — Robert Gore-Langton, The Spectator (UK), 15 Nov. 2014



Test Your Vocabulary

What 7-letter adjective begins with "th" and means "being on the other and farther side"?

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