One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally (more fully "muscular astasia"): a condition characterized by muscle tremors which inhibit movement (now rare). In later use: the inability to stand, especially in an individual who has no demonstrable sensory impairment or motor weakness.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). From scientific Latin astasia state or condition marked by feelings of unease or (mental) discomfort and its etymon Hellenistic Greek ἀστασία unsteadiness from ancient Greek ἄστατος never standing still, in Hellenistic Greek also unstable ( ἀ- + στατός standing: see -stat) + -ία.
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