What is the historical background of the word "outback"?
With the semantics of an isolated, rural region, both "out" and "back" imply this separation from the well populated areas, but, in particular, there's the sense that an "outback" is one's back-yard (it's "out back"). In the stylings of the deliberately understated Australian vernacular of circa 1893 it seemed quite witty to refer to the huge bulk of the continent covered by this desert this way.
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