The word "frontier
" is an good example of how word usage
varies across a small boundary such as the Atlantic Ocean
, and how cultural differences can make a huge change in the meaning of a word.
In the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Ireland, et cetera, the word "frontier" is used in the way that Americans use the word "border": to mean the line that divides two countries, states, regions, or provinces.
In the 1840s, the United States experienced a drive known as Manifest Destiny, as settlers across the nation moved west to settle the remainder of North America. The "frontier" referred to the region between the settled areas and wilderness, and continually moved west as Americans did. In North America, the word "border" is used almost exclusively where Europe and South America would say "frontier".
This has led to a great deal of confusion, particularly in the matter of Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers". It might even be responsible for the end of his career.