Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
Old English hnecca "neck, nape, back of the neck" (a fairly rare word) from Proto-Germanic *khnekkon "the nape of the neck" (cf. Old Frisian hnekka, Middle Dutch necke, Dutch nek, Old Norse hnakkr, Old High German hnach, German Nacken "neck"), with no certain cognates outside Germanic, though Klein's sources suggest PIE *knok- "high point, ridge" (cf. Old Irish cnocc, Welsh cnwch, Old Breton cnoch "hill").
The more usual Old English words were hals (the general Germanic word, cf. Gothic, Old Norse, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, German hals), cognate with Latin collum (see collar (n.)); and swira, probably also from a PIE root meaning "column" (cf. Sanskrit svaru- "post").
Transferred senses attested from c.1400. Phrase neck of the woods (American English) is attested from 1780 in the sense of "narrow stretch of woods;" 1839 with meaning "settlement in a wooded region." To stick one's neck out "take a risk" is first recorded 1919, American English. Horses running neck and neck is attested from 1799.
"to kiss, embrace, caress," 1825 (implied in necking) in northern England dialect, from neck (n.). Cf. Middle English halsen "to embrace or caress affectionately, to fondle sexually," from hals (n.) "neck." Earlier, neck as a verb meant "to kill by a strike on the neck" (mid-15c.). Related: Necked.
The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders or trunk.
A narrow or constricted part of a structure, as of a bone or an organ, that joins its parts; a cervix.
The part of a tooth between the crown and the root.
used sometimes figuratively. To "lay down the neck" (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one's life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people's necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).
in land vertebrates, the portion of the body joining the head to the shoulders and chest. Some important structures contained in or passing through the neck include the seven cervical vertebrae and enclosed spinal cord, the jugular veins and carotid arteries, part of the esophagus, the larynx and vocal cords, and the sternocleidomastoid and hyoid muscles in front and the trapezius and other nuchal muscles behind. Among the primates, humans are characterized by having a relatively long neck