The local media described a community like mine as a “hinterland” today. I don’t get it. This is what Google has to say:
1.the remote areas of a country away from the coast or the banks of major rivers.“the hinterland of southern Italy“
synonyms: the back of beyond, the middle of nowhere, the backwoods, the wilds, the bush, remote areas, a backwater;the outback, the back country, the backblocks, the booay;the backveld, the platteland;informalthe sticks;informalthe boondocks, the boonies, the tall timbers;informalWoop Woop, beyond the black stump“early settlers were driven from the coastal areas into the hinterland“ antonyms: civilization
the area around or beyond a major town or port.“a market town serving its rich agricultural hinterland“
2.an area lying beyond what is visible or known.“the strange hinterland where life begins and ends“
I reject meaning #1, because it’ silly to think that a community on the edge of a major city is the “back of beyond”, although it is catchy. I also reject the idea of tall timbers, which don’t exist in my ‘hood, therefore the lack of tree-climbing squirrels, and the apparent abundance of backward-walking ground squirrels. I do concede to being stumped.
I accept meaning #2 as much more intriguing: “an area lying beyond what is visible or known; ‘the strange hinterland where life begins and ends’.“
That’s it in a nutshell. Now I don’t have to drop all my Grimm references and start calling my blog “Hinterland Who’s Who”. It’s the same place, metaphorically. A reasonable compromise would be to introduce some of the critters from HWW from time to time. Consider it done.
I also realized today how much I like the schwa: ə. How’s it goin’, ə?