from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated on the other side of a bridge.
  • adj. Similar to or characteristic of melodramas once performed in London theaters located south of the Thames River.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or situated on the far side of a bridge
  • adj. Of, or pertaining to the sensational melodramas presented on the south side of the Thames in the 19th century or earlier.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Situated or existing across or beyond a bridge; specifically, belonging to the part of London lying on the Surrey side of the Thames: applied to the Surrey and Victoria theaters, at which cheap melodrama was formerly popular, and hence, in London theatrical parlance, to any play of a cheap, melodramatic character.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A third transpontine house, the Royal Coburg (still with us as the Old Vic) was addedlater.

    Projections of puppet theatre

  • So much of fault we find; but on the other side the impartial critic rejoices to remark the presence of a great unity of gusto; of those direct clap-trap appeals, which a man is dead and buriable when he fails to answer; of the footlight glamour, the ready-made, bare-faced, transpontine picturesque, a thing not one with cold reality, but how much dearer to the mind!

    Memories and Portraits

  • He used to talk about "transpontine utterances" and "lapidiary prose" and make me go to the dictionary to look the words up if I said I didn't understand them. BEAT THE JUDGE.

  • He came on to the scene suddenly and with much uproar, in a way that would have made his fortune in a transpontine drama.

    Travels in West Africa

  • Thou sawest thy America, thy lifetask, and didst charge to cover like the transpontine bison.


  • Truly, if he encounter with a wife of the like nature, temperament, and constitution, he may beget upon her children worthy of some transpontine monarchy; and the sooner he marry it will be the better for him, and the more conducible for his profit if he would see and have his children in his own time well provided for.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • Place these complex characters in an imaginary Carribean Republic, a sort of transpontine Ruritania; add a revolution fostered by the serpentine diplomats of a European power; let the American eagle issue a few screams, and there you have the environment in which _The Unspeakable Perk_ lives and moves and has his unreal being.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, April 25, 1917

  • If _x_ = the amount of non-compressible fluid consumed by a given labourer in _y_ days, find, by the substitution of poached eggs for kippered herrings, how many tea-cups it will take to make a transpontine hurricane.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, February 21, 1891

  • Booth was driven by Kean's superiority to become a hero to "transpontine audiences."

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866

  • When he arrived at Pillingshot's seat and found it empty, an expression passed over his face like unto that of the baffled villain in transpontine melodrama.

    Tales of St. Austin's


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  • "Who are they all, and where are they going, and whence have they come, and what smoking kitchens and gaping portals and marshalled flunkeys are prepared to receive them, from the southernmost limits of a loosely interpreted, an almost transpontine Belgravia, to the hyperborean confines of St John's Wood?"
    "London" in English Hours by Henry James, p 27 of the Oxford paperback edition

    September 17, 2010

  • on the other side of a bridge

    December 25, 2006