To understand how the word helicopter became a word, we have to go all the way back to 1863 when a French man named Gustave wrote a short book about his new flying invention. It was a steam powered flying machine. He thought his machine was going to fly striate up into the sky without needing a big field or a large place like an airport to take off.
Make Two Words Into One
Because there wasn’t a word for his new flying machine he needed to use two words that had the right meaning. The two words needed to make sense and explain to everyone what his invention was. He called it a Helicopter.
Lets break it down.
helico – means spiral
pter – means wing
Gustave’s helicopter had the wings on top and they rotated in a circular or spiral fashion. Sorry to say that his new invention never did fly. But, his new word is still being used today.
Where did the words come from?
Bothe of the words come from the Greek vocabulary. Gustave put two Greek words together to make the word we use in our English vocabulary today.
We use a lot of words in the English vocabulary that come from other languages. You can learn more about it here.