Gentle suspense. Tortured heroes. Mischievous heroines.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Word of the Day accolade

  • accolade
  • audio pronunciation
  • \AK-uh-layd\

a : a ceremonial embrace b : a ceremony or salute conferring knighthood
a : a mark of acknowledgment : award b : an expression of praise
: a brace or a line used in music to join two or more staffs carrying simultaneous parts

In his introductory speech, Jonathon heaped accolades on the keynote speaker.

"The feature-length film … debuts in New Orleans after a year of critical acclaim and awards on the festival circuit, as well as accolades from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Oxford American, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety and more." — From an article by Alison Fensterstock in the Times-Picayune (New Orleans), October 16, 2013

"Accolade" was borrowed into English in the 17th century from French. The French noun in turn derives from the verb "accoler," which means "to embrace," and ultimately from the Latin term "collum," meaning "neck." ("Collum" is also an ancestor of the English word "collar.") When it was first borrowed from French, "accolade" referred to a ceremonial embrace that once marked the conferring of knighthood. The term was later extended to any ceremony conferring knighthood (such as the more familiar tapping on the shoulders with the flat blade of a sword), and eventually extended to honors or awards in general.


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