Spiral Wings

If I told you that the word ‘helicopter’ is a pairing of two separate words, you’d probably think ‘heli’ and ‘copter’. You’d be wrong, of course, as always. Think helix and pterodactyl.

helico-

1 a combining form meaning “spiral”; used with this meaning and as a combining form of helix in the formation of compound words.

-pter

1 a combining form meaning “one with wings” of the kind specified.

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