"relating to or concerned with the cure of bodily deformities in children or in persons generally," 1840, from French orthopédique, from orthopédie, coined by French physician Nicholas Andry (1658-1742), from Greek orthos "straight, correct" (see ortho-) + paideia "rearing of children," from pais (genitive paidos) "child" (see pedo-).
in the names of sciences or disciplines (acoustics, aerobics, economics, etc.), a 16c. revival of the classical custom of using the neuter plural of adjectives with Greek -ikos "pertaining to" (see -ic) to mean "matters relevant to" and also as the titles of treatises about them. Subject matters that acquired their English names before c. 1500, however, tend to be singular in form (arithmetic, logic, magic, music, rhetoric). The grammatical number of words in -ics (mathematics is/mathematics are) is a confused question.