accolade (n.)

1620s, from French accolade "an embrace, a kiss" (16c.), from Provençal acolada or Italian accollata, ultimately from noun use of a fem. past participle of Vulgar Latin *accollare "to embrace around the neck," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + collum "neck" (see collar (n.)), from PIE root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round."

The original sense is of an embrace about the neck then the tapping of a sword on the shoulders to confer knighthood. Extended meaning "praise, award" is from 1852. Also see -ade. The earlier form of the word in English was accoll (mid-14c.), from Old French acolee "an embrace, kiss, especially that given to a new-made knight," a noun use of the past participle of the verb acoler. The French noun in the 16c. was altered to accolade, with the foreign suffix, and English followed suit.

Others Are Reading