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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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