One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Having winged feet; (hence) swift, nimble.
Chiefly Zoology. An animal with the fingers or digits connected by a membrane to form a wing; a bat. Now rare.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Nathan Bailey (d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster. From classical Latin āliped-, ālipes (adjective) wing-footed, swift-footed, (noun) swift-footed creature, horse from āli- + -ped-, -pes.
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