Glossary term:

Cerebellar tonsils

The lower-most part of the cerebellum is made up of a pair of structures, one on each side of the midline, known as the tonsils. These structures have no relationship with the tissue at the back of the throat, which becomes inflamed and sore with a viral infection. It is simply the case that the same Latin term was applied by (presumably) different anatomists, at different times and working in different places, to name these very different body parts. The word tonsilla literally means a stump; Roman ships were moored to “tonsilla” when in port.