One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
with object Medicine and Veterinary Med. To subject to ballottement. Also without object: to move in response to ballottement.
Late 17th century (in an earlier sense). From French ballotter to shake (a person or thing) to and fro, to toss (a person or thing) hither and thither (like a ball), to move in response to ballottement from ballotte.
A dance movement in which the body is ‘tossed’ or ‘thrown’; specifically (Ballet) a rocking step in which the body is thrown forward and backward as the weight is transferred quickly from one foot to the other.
Early 19th century. From French balloté, (now usually) ballotté, use as noun of past participle of ballotter.
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