funambulist (fyu̇-ˈnam-byə-list)

A sketch of a funambulist drawn by my dad.

A funambulist is a tightrope walker. Funambulist contains the Latin roots fun– meaning rope and ambul– meaning walk. This word literally means “rope walker!” One of the most famous funambulists is Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as “The Great Blondin”. In 1859, he crossed the Niagara River on an 1100 foot rope. He crossed the river many times, each time doing something more dangerous. He ran and biked across, even in the dark! I think that his most amazing feat was when he rolled a wheelbarrow containing a stove, to the middle of the rope, stopped and cooked an omelet, then lowered the omelet to passengers in a boat below him! I don’t think that I could ever be a funambulist, because I would be too scared and probably end up falling!

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