• accolade •
æ-kê-layd • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A plaudit, congratulatory praise, an award in recognition of an accomplishment. 2. The ceremony of bestowing knighthood, using the flat side of a sword touching the shoulders. 3. (Music) A vertical line or brace between two staves, the five parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written. 4. A celebratory or congratulatory embrace or kiss.
Notes: This word comes with an adjective, accoladed "accorded an accolade; knighted". Don't forget the C is doubled.
In Play: An accolade is an expression of praise: "The highest accolade that an audience can give to a symphonic performance is a standing ovation filled with 'Bravos!'" But I suspect its meaning may be contracted to cover statements like this: "Our mayor can claim only one accolade, for taking the largest number of bribes in the history of New Monia."
Word History: Today's Good Word comes from French accolade "an embrace, a kiss" or Italian accollata "touching the neck with the blade of a sword in the knighthood investiture". Whichever, it ultimately comes from noun use of a feminine past participle of Vulgar (Street) Latin accollare "to embrace around the neck", based on ad "(up)to" + collum "neck", source also of English collar. Latin inherited the word from PIE kwel-/kwol- "revolve, encircle, move round". This word came to English through its Germanic ancestors as wheel. In Greek it was partially reduplicated to became kyklos "circle", which English borrowed in several forms like cycle and cyclone. It made its way through Proto-Slavic to Russian as kol'co "ring, wreath", to Czech as kolo "wheel, bicycle, and to Serbian as kolo "cart wheel, round dance."
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