Meaning of Bachelor

The medieval Latin word baccalarius derived from the French bachelier, which later arrived in Castilian as bachelor. The concept of bachelor is used to name the individual who is enrolled or have completed studies of education secondary.

Continuing with its etymology, this word was used to name the gentlemen who had a middle rank, found between squires and knights. The gentlemen were the people who dispatched the monarch with a statement of relevance to communicate some news related to a positive event, such as the arrival of a squad or the taking of a square.

Since the gentlemen did not have the possibility of raising a company on their own account, they worked under a knight, whose orders they obeyed with the help of their vassals. In England, the term bachelor referred to the young officer who had been awarded the golden spur as a result of a distinguished first action.

According to the research work of the Catalan writer Vicenç Joaquín Bastús i Carrera, the French term bachelier may have derived from the expression bas chevalier, which translates as “under a gentleman.” Another possibility refers to the berries of the laurel, which relate to the word bachalaureatus, and this is because it was customary to place a wreath of laurel who reached this level.

There are several other possible etymologies, which are collected from Provençal, Italian, medieval Latin and Latin used in the North of Spain and the South of France, and among the concepts to which they refer are «vassal», «ranch “cattle” and “staff” (the latter because the knights used sticks during their military training). We must bear in mind that some of these words date back several centuries, and for this reason it is very difficult to draw clear lines about the evolution that each one has gone through and the relationship they may have had between them.

In ancient times, a bachelor was someone who had reached the first academic degree granted by universities. This use dates back to medieval times; there is evidence of the use of this title in the thirteenth century to recognize the students of a faculty who had reached the level mentioned above. Pope Gregory IX drew the differences between the bachelor, the graduate and the doctor.

In countries such as Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, Colombia and Mexico, the notion of bachelor is also used with reference to the baccalaureate: the academic degree and the studies of secondary education that precede other superiors (tertiary or university).

Although there are differences according to the country, it can be said in a general sense that bachelor is the student who is studying a baccalaureate and the graduate who obtained said academic title. In any case, the idea of ​​high school can refer to various grades or levels.

In Argentina, for example, oriented secondary education includes various specializations. A student who completes five years of high school can become a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a Specialization in Communication and Education, to name one case.

In the Mexican educational system, upper secondary education is known as baccalaureate. It is a stage that lasts two or three years and prepares the bachelor to access higher education.

Spain, for its part, has baccalaureate degrees that students who completed compulsory secondary education (ESO) study. These baccalaureates last two years and are pre-university: once the bachelor has completed this training, he or she is entitled to enter a university (passing the corresponding entrance test) or a higher degree training cycle.