Abseil is a word of German origin and rhymes with style not sail.
They chose the French term for sliding down a rope whereas we chose the German. Nothing more to it than that.
So why do most climbers have a dislike for abseiling? Basically it is down to two things:
- single system with no backup.
- Easy to get wrong.
However with a little thought many of the risks may be reduced, though not entirely removed.