Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb κολλαω (kollao) means to glue, stick together or attach to (hence English words like collage and collagen). It stems from the in the New Testament unused noun κολλα (kolla), glue, but it's unclear where that word comes from. It seems to share an origin with words like clay, but that too is of unclear descent.
Here at Abarim Publications we don't know either but we would bet that our words ultimately stem from Semitic and were imported into the European languages along with the alphabet. Of particular interest we find the verb כלל (kalal), meaning to make whole or perfect.
Our verb is used 11 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, all in the passive voice and predominantly in a societal way, of people being attached to other people. From our verb derives:
- Together with the preposition προς (pros) meaning toward: the verb προσκολλαω (proskollao), meaning to go to someone and join them. This verb is used in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31 only, consistently in the context of the man who will "be attached toward" his wife (after Genesis 2:24). The Greek emphasis on motion toward strongly suggests that the authors of the New Testament figured that the man is not only attached to the woman but also her extended family and her culture. The ancient Hebrews, namely, were matrilocal, meaning that in any given village the women were surrounded by supporting sisters, nieces and aunts, whereas the men were all first generation immigrants from all over the place. Hence a matrilocal society is much more feminine, and emphasizes cooperation and protection of the weak, whereas a patrilocal society (that's the one we modern Westerners inherited from the Indo-Europeans) emphasizes competition and oppression of the weak.