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I'm curious about the words aerobatic and acrobatic. They seem of Latin origin and I wonder if anyone could enlighten me as to the meaning of the "-batic" portion of these words.

Edit: I stand corrected, it is of Greek origin.

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I think this is a very interesting question, but has more to do with Latin than with English. You may be interested in supporting the Linguistics.SE proposal in Area51. Also, @Cerberus might be able to answer this question. –  KitFox Aug 26 '11 at 3:09
    
I agree with @Kit, and think this could be interesting. However, if you found out that it's of Greek origin, wouldn't you be able to find the source meaning as well? –  simchona Aug 26 '11 at 3:19
    
@simchona The Greek word is akrobates, which is akros for "high up" or "topmost," but the ending is not so clear. A Classics scholar would probably know. –  KitFox Aug 26 '11 at 3:22
    
@Kit Interesting. Well, hopefully Linguistics can shed light on it. (The OED gives an etymology for it) –  simchona Aug 26 '11 at 3:24
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The Greek word for walking on air is αεροβατέω; aερο- meaning air, -βατέω (or more correctly πατέω) meaning to walk. How the 'π' became a 'β' is beyond me. As KitΘδς said, maybe Linguistics.SE could shed more light on this. –  Bill Aug 26 '11 at 4:37
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closed as off topic by KitFox, simchona, Thursagen, Mitch, Jasper Loy Aug 26 '11 at 9:34

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Originally from Greek and answerable by simply using a dictionary.

[French acrobate, from Greek akrobat s : akros, high; see acro- + bainein, bat-, to walk; see gw - in Indo-European roots.]

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