English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am looking for a word or phrase denoting remoteness and great distance from human habitat, for the purpose of naming a cabin in the wilderness. I have already thought of "far cry" and "back of beyond". It would be good if the word or phrase was associated with a quotation or title from a book or proverb, but mostly it needs to resonate with the idea of a place "far from the madding crowd".

share|improve this question
Antipodes. For a benefit, it's pronounced rather strangely, because it's Greek: /æn'tɪpədiz/ – John Lawler Jul 11 '13 at 2:27
Hmmm, antipodes just means 'opposite the feet' i.e. on the other side of the world. Doesn't necessarily convey remoteness. – ElendilTheTall Jul 11 '13 at 13:05

I'm surprised no one has mentioned isolated yet. The cabin could be named "The Isolation" (or possibly "The Isolator", if occupants are sent there as punishment).

isolated, adjective –Google

far away from other places, buildings, or people; remote.

share|improve this answer
I think issuing monikers at SE is either off-topic or at least, generally frowned upon. This is the WORD for, "remoteness, great distance from human habitat." – Mazura Apr 8 at 1:30
OK, guess I got a little carried away. Thanks for the edit. – TMN Apr 8 at 14:16
I didn't mean to sound harsh, my comment was more to everyone else. Yours at least takes a correct word and makes it a name. Some of the others provided names of imaginary places that are typically isolated. – Mazura Apr 8 at 23:15

How about one of the following:

  • backwoods
  • boondocks
  • in the sticks
  • terra incognita
  • hinterland
  • bush
  • out-of-the-way
  • removed

I hope that at least one of these has the shade of meaning you're looking for

share|improve this answer
Did you know that "boondocks" comes from "bundok", the Tagolog (native Phillipine) word for mountain? – Max Williams Apr 7 at 15:34

How about (ultima) Thule, a mediaeval term used to denote “any distant place located beyond the ‘borders of the known world’”?

It’s a town and former municipality in the north of Greenland as well, named for its remoteness.


Or perhaps, if you’re fond of comics, Faroffistan (from a 1958 Dumbo strip by Carl Fallberg and Paul Murry). In the Scandinavian translations of this strip, the word Langtbortistan (Danish)/Långtbortistan (Swedish) was coined, and this term has since become a common word in both languages to describe a more or less fictional, remote place.

share|improve this answer

Timbuktu - a place that is unimaginably far away, completely foreign, or unreachable.

Even though Timbuktu is a real city in central Mali, it was (and still is) a term used to describe a far away place. It doesn't carry the meaning of a place far from human habitat, though. But it is certainly meant to imply a place far from major human habitat.

Outback - remote area, especially in Australia: a sparsely inhabited or wilderness region of a country, especially of Australia; The remote and usually uninhabited inland regions of Australia.

There is an interesting discussion at the link about the origin of the term outback, including terms like Never-Never (meaning the remoter parts of the outback), Black Stump, Beyond the Black Stump (and there are Black Stump Run and Black Stump Creek). Also Back of Beyond, as you mentioned.

You might consider Never Never Land, which is closely related to Never-Never.

Then there is the much less polite Bumf$%k, Egypt, which is described as someplace hard to get to and generally undesirable; the boonies or toolies. The middle of nowhere. It's where soldiers get sent when they are deployed, hence the scornful language.

Beyond the pale was covered very well in the linked ELU thread. Requoting from that thread:

The message is clearly, 'if there is a pale, you should stay inside it', which conveys exactly the meaning of the phrase as it is used today.

share|improve this answer


Beyond reach, communication, or influence: lost river



An isolated or backward place or condition.


share|improve this answer

It doesn't exactly evoke vacation, but desolation might work. The Kerguelen Islands are one of the most remote places on the planet and are also known as the Desolation Islands.

Another word that comes to mind is secluded, which is not just remote but also somewhat hidden.

share|improve this answer

For the context you've given, I'd use an isolated getaway.

share|improve this answer
Not my down vote. I think this is already part of another answer. – NVZ Apr 8 at 4:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.