One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Lying on the back; inclined backwards. Also occasionally figurative and as adverb Now rare.
Mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin resupīnus lying face upwards, lying flat on one's back, inert, passive, indifferent, leaning back, tilted back from re- + supīnus. Compare Middle French, French † resupin, Spanish resupino, Portuguese resupino, Italian resupino, all rare. Compare earlier supine.
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