July 01, 2011
- aerobatics (noun singular or plural)
- What does it mean?
- : spectacular flying feats and maneuvers
- How do you use it?
- Six U.S. Air Force pilots put on an amazing display of aerobatics at the air show.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Aerobatics" was one of many flight-related words that began appearing in magazines and newspapers in the first two decades of the 1900s (others included "airline," "airpower," and "flight path"). Why do you think those words started appearing then?The first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903 and their demonstration of the first practical airplane in 1905 definitely played a key role in popularizing the vocabulary of airplanes. NASA wasn't founded until 1958, so its role in adding aerodynamic terms to our vocabulary didn't start until later. Although author Roald Dahl wrote in the 1900s, his first book wasn't published until the 1940s, so that choice is out too. Hot air balloons were actually introduced by the Montgolfier brothers in the 1780s; they had their primary influence on English long before the 1900s.