Prestige , from Latin praestigĭum, is the renown , the reputation , he enhancement or the good credit of someone or something. In ancient times, however, the concept had a negative and pejorative meaning.
Prestige, in another historical context, referred to the pride , the pomposity and the affectation . Its etymological root was linked to deception and trick. A prestidigitator, in this sense, is the one who does tricks and manages to trick people.
Hence, prestige is also considered a term that is used, although less and less, to refer to the fascination that a number of magic or a trick carried out by a professional of this type causes among the public. A good example of this is when those attending a magic show are left with their mouths open when they discover that the magician or prestidigitator has made a person disappear or has managed to escape from a box.
With the weather , the notion of prestige acquired a positive connotation. Today the concept is used to point to the high esteem . Having prestige or being prestigious is something that all person or entity intends, since it implies a good consideration of the rest of the society .
A person has prestige when he excels in his professional field. Prestige is built over the years, by showing honesty and ability. For example: "The tennis player again demonstrated his prestige by beating the last champion of Roland Garros in just an hour and a half of play", “The prestige of the band is safe thanks to a new high-level album”, "The writer has squandered his prestige with his latest books".
Events and things can also have prestige: “This film festival enjoys great prestige among filmmakers and actors in the continent”, “The historic Fiat model enjoys prestige among classic car lovers”.
In addition to all this we should make it clear that the term in question also has a variant in the field of Language. Thus, it is common to talk about what is known as sociolinguistic prestige, which is the acceptance and respect that speakers of a dialect have about its varieties and their forms.
Similarly, we must not overlook the existence of what is known as undercover prestige. In the field of Linguistics this word is used that refers to that positive consideration that is carried out to mark a differentiation in gender, social or sexual matters, among others.
In this way, a clear example of this type of prestige is that based on a colloquial and proficient language to make clear the admiration or value of a person or a thing. A good example of this is that in Spain it is common to use the expression “what a bastard!” To refer to someone being very good at a sport, at work or personally.
Finally, we could establish that the admiration, the respect and trust are combined so that someone becomes prestigious. In any case, the profession or trade in question also affects the conception. A plumber can be reliable and a guarantee of a job well done, but hardly considered prestigious on a social level.