One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In ancient Greece: a statue with the head and extremities made of stone and the trunk usually of wood.
Mid 19th century. From classical Latin acrolithos (Vitruvius), acrolithus (attested in an inscription) having extremities of marble from Hellenistic Greek ἀκρόλιθος having the ends of stone from ancient Greek ἄκρο- + λίθος stone; originally after German Akrolith.
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