helico-, helic-, helici-, heli-, helix-
(Greek: spiral, coil; twisted, bent; spiral-shaped; a coil; by extension, "snail")
This is a result of a combination of extensor spasticity, causing difficulty in flexing the knee, together with spastic footdrop.
2. Etymology: The term helicopter was borrowed from the French word hélicoptère, a word constructed from Greek heliko- and pteron, "wing". Heliko- is the combining form of helix, "spiral" that has given us helico-, which can be joined with other words and word forms to create new words.
The consonant cluster "pt" in pteron begins many Greek words but relatively few English words. English speakers unfamiliar with Greek are therefore not likely to recognize the word's elements as helico-pter. Many people divide the word into the elements heli-copter, as is shown by the clipped form "copter".
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.
3. In architecture, a spiral ornament.
4. In anatomy, the curved fold forming most of the rim of the external ear.
5. A structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops.