# etymology of supernatant

Why do we call a solution that has been centrifuged a supernatant? It seems to me that a "natant" should be something that floats (from Latin "natare" meaning "to swim"), and a "supernatant" should be something which lies above the natant, not below it. Shouldn't the liquid be called a subnatant? Or maybe a superprecipitate?

Edit: fixed Latin (see below)