The word lanyard came into use in the 1600s. We will examine the meaning of the word lanyard, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A lanyard is a thong or cord. It may refer to a short rope used on a ship to secure an object, a short cord used to secure a knife or gun to someone’s body, or a line used to activate a weapon such as a cannon. Today, the word lanyard most often refers to a strap or cord worn around the neck in order to carry something such as a whistle or an identification card. The lanyard has long been a children’s camp craft, involving different methods of braiding plastic laces. This fact prompted the poet Billy Collins to write the humorous piece, The Lanyard, in which a child explains how making a lanyard for his mother is sufficient recompense for all the sacrifices she has made for him. The plural of lanyard is lanyards. The word lanyard is derived from the Old French word laniere, meaning a strap of leather.


Donte’ Montague was in line at Subway when he bumped into a teacher who noticed his school lanyard and struck up a conversation about teaching. (The Staunton News Leader)

Jakerra Royster laughs after opting to be handed her honors medallion, assured that the lanyard would not fit around her mortarboard that wasn’t coming off, during Heritage High School’s Class of 2018 graduation on Sunday, June 3. (The Lynchburg News and Advance)

On Dec. 12, 2012, her eight-year-old son Nicholas donned a hall pass dangling from a non-breakaway lanyard for a trip to the boys’ washroom at Bearspaw School, just outside Calgary’s northwest city limits. (The Calgary Herald)



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