epaulet

[ep-uh-let, -lit, ep-uh-let]
noun
an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.
Also, epaulette.


Origin:
1775–85; < French épaulette, equivalent to épaule shoulder (< Latin spatula blade; see spatula) + -ette -ette

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World English Dictionary
epaulette or (US) epaulet (ˈɛpəˌlɛt, -lɪt, ˈɛpəˌlɛt, -lɪt)
 
n
a piece of ornamental material on the shoulder of a garment, esp a military uniform
 
[C18: from French épaulette, from épaule shoulder, from Latin spatula shoulder blade; see spatula]
 
epaulet or (US) epaulet
 
n
 
[C18: from French épaulette, from épaule shoulder, from Latin spatula shoulder blade; see spatula]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

epaulet
1783, from Fr. épaulette, dim. of epaule "shoulder," from O.Fr. espaule, from L. spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," later "shoulder blade," dim. of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Gk. spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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