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Cuello and Collar, Accolades

Cuello (Spanish for “neck”) comes from the Latin collum, also meaning “neck.” From collum, we get the English… collar. We can see the c-ll mapping in both.

More interesting, though, is from that same root, we also get the English accolades, which is just collum with the classic Latin ad- (“towards”) prefix.

How did we get from “towards the neck” to “giving honors and awards”? Well, accolades was originally used in the sense of, resting the sword on your shoulder–like the King does to you when he turns you into a knight. Being knighted was the ultimate honor you could receive, with the king bestowing it by placing the sword on your shoulder.

Since medieval times, apparently, honors have become increasingly easy to give and receive, since know we get accolades for every little “job well done”!

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