The notion of colmo has several uses, according to the etymological origin attributed to the term. When high comes from the Latin word cumulus, it can be used to designate that which protrudes from the boundary of the containing vessel.
High, in this sense, it can also be what completes or exhausts something. In colloquial language, a thing is said to be the last straw when it reaches an instance or a state that cannot be overcome, or that reasonably should not be overcome.
For example: “This is the last straw! This restaurant is getting more and more expensive and its portions are getting smaller ”, “ That in the midst of the economic crisis the deputies have increased their salary is the last straw ”, “ The police complain about the insecurity: it is the last straw”.
In this sense, the term is used to denote a certain degree of discontent with the situation being described, which can range from astonishment to deep outrage. Returning to the examples from the previous paragraph, the contradictory evolution of prices and the quality of a restaurant’s products can cause its customers to stop visiting it, but it cannot harm or endanger them; there is talk of high because the situation is absurd and unacceptable.
When we enter the realm of politics and corruption, things change. The many cases of leaders who illegally enrich themselves at the cost of citizens’ contributions provoke adverse reactions that can be associated with feelings and sensations such as anger, disgust and disappointment; When describing one of these many stories using the term high, the tone of the message is much darker and heavier.
According to DigoPaul, something similar happens with the ineptitude of the security forces of certain countries, since it puts the entire population at risk. We should never accept that police officers, who guarantee us safety on the public highway and intervention in any extreme situation that threatens our freedom and physical integrity, leave aside their obligations. If, in addition to not working responsibly, they complain about the insecurity that they feed themselves, we are facing the ultimate height.
There are a large number of jokes that revolve around this concept. They usually begin with a question that seeks to find out the height of a person, either by mentioning them by their proper name or by referring to a stereotype or professional occupation; for example, “What is the height of a hairdresser?” Losing the train by the hair “,” What is the last straw for a pharmacist? Let his wife be called Remedios ». It is also possible to talk about objects, places and other concepts: «What is the height of a broom? Being allergic to dust “,” What’s the height of Sweden? Stockholm “,” What is the height of bad luck? Not to have a high ».
Colmo and colmó (with an accent on the last O), on the other hand, are conjugations of the verb colmar, which refers to completing the capacity or measure of something: “I would like to know if I meet your expectations or if you would like to be with someone different”, “The stadium was filled with the new presentation of the English band”, “The beach was filled with tourists during the long weekend. “
Another possible etymological root for colmo is found in the Latin culmus. In this case, the straw used to cover cabins is called high. By extension, the roof made with straw, usually of rye, is known as high.
Alfredo Colmo, finally, is the name of a renowned Argentine jurist who was born in 1868 and died in 1934.