One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A scenic switchback railway; a roller-coaster (also as the name for a particular attraction).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Blackwood's Magazine. From French montagnes russes roller-coaster, lit. ‘Russian mountains’ from the plural of montagne + russe Russian, with reference to the popularity in Russia of the winter sport.
montagne russe/mɒnˌtanjə ˈruːs/
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