Trend Watch

Kavanaugh Stresses 'Collegiality' in Hearing

Lookups rise 1800% after opening statement


Collegiality was among our top lookups on September 5th, 2018, after the word found itself much used in and around the Senate hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

In an exchange with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Kavanaugh said that “no one is above the law in our constitutional system.” He said that the best qualities of a judge are having independence — not being swayed by political or public pressure — along with respect for precedent and having collegiality and civility.
— Rebecca Shabad, NBCNews.com, 5 Sep. 2018

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Photo: Eric Draper

The word has been in use since at least the mid-1800s.

Although collegiality and college are etymologically related (both may be traced to the Latin collega, meaning “colleague”), the former has little to do with colleges; we define collegiality as “the cooperative relationship of colleagues.” The word has on occasion been used with the specific meaning of “the participation of bishops in the government of the Roman Catholic Church in collaboration with the pope.” It does not appear that this specific sense is intended by those covering the Kavanaugh hearings.

Collegiality has been in use since at least the first half of the 19th century; our earliest record is currently from 1849, in an article about the Gutenberg Union, an association of German printers.

The furtherance of a perfect collegiality, and of the artistic and intellectual cultivation of its members—especially of apprentices.
Northern Star (Leeds, Eng.), 13 Oct. 1849



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