Collagen comes from the Greek kolla (glue) and gennao (I produce). A "producer of glue" is quite an apt characterization of collagen, at least metaphorically, as this most ubiquitous of intercellular structural proteins plays a fundamental role in holding the body together. However, the term was coined (sometime in the mid 1800's) not because of its role in connective tissues, but because it is the main ingredient of glues formed from the boiling of animal skin, tendons, and ligaments. (The oldest such glues yet discovered, in various artifacts found near the Dead Sea, date to 6200 BC.)

The word collage, meaning an artistic collection of images, printed matter, and other substances glued to a board, also comes from kolla.

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