Cellos come from the Italian term violincello, which actually means little violone. The cello is actually part of the violin family, which came into prominent use in the eighteenth century. There are several differences between the viol family and the violin. Viols have flat backs while members of the violin family have curved backs.
The plural of cello is either cellos or celli. Most cellos have a decorative inlay called purfling. While purfling give the cello an aesthetically pleasing appearance, it also serves a practical purpose. Purfling helps prevent cracking of the wood due to playing, travel, weather or being dropped or struck.