before vowels ped-, word-forming element meaning "boy, child," from Greek pedo-, combining form of pais "boy, child," especially a son, from PIE root *pau- (1) "few, little." The British form paed- is better because it avoids confusion with the ped- that means "foot" (from PIE root *ped-) and the ped-that means "soil, ground, earth." Compare, from the same root, Sanskrit putrah "son;" Avestan puthra- "son, child;" Latin puer "child, boy," Oscan puklu "child."
before a vowel, anthrop-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to man or human beings," from Greek anthrōpos "man; human being" (including women), as opposed to the gods, from andra (genitive andros), Attic form of Greek anēr "man" (as opposed to a woman, a god, or a boy), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong."
Anthropos sometimes is explained as a compound of anēr and ōps (genitive ōpos) "eye, face;" so literally "he who has the face of a man." The change of -d- to -th- is difficult to explain; perhaps it is from some lost dialectal variant, or the mistaken belief that there was an aspiration sign over the vowel in the second element (as though *-dhropo-), which mistake might have come about by influence of common verbs such as horao "to see." But Beekes writes, "As no IE explanation has been found, the word is probably of substrate origin."