lanyards graphic ID Lanyards

The Many Meanings of "Lanyard"

Well, then: now we know that "lanyard" basically means "strap." But amazingly, the term has been applied to a wide variety of items in many aspects of society, from sailing to the military. Let's take a quick look, shall we?

In its broadest sense, a lanyard is a line attached to a tool; but it's the type of tool, and what it attaches to, that's the really interesting bit. In nautical use, a lanyard is a short rope used to secure rigging or to fasten something down. So far, so good. The most common use is the one we're really interested in: a cord or strap you wear around your neck or wrist for carrying or securing some tool -- a whistle, for example.

Interestingly enough, there are several types of military lanyards. One is a type of cord with a hook on the end used to fire a cannon (not much use for that one anymore, except at some college football games). Otherwise, lanyards are a type of dress uniform braid worn on the shoulder by some military units.

For safety purposes, a lanyard is a tough, flexible cord with a connector on each end for attachment to a harness. And finally, Lanyard was the code name for a series of spy satellites hoisted into orbit by the U.S.A. from January to March 1963. Most of them are still up there, but they've long since become obsolete. So has the country they were spying on: the Soviet Union doesn't even exist anymore.


On to part three :: Neck Lanyards: What They Are, and Why You Should Care :: Back to Index



News n' Info

Where the heck did the term "lanyard" come from, and what exactly defines a lanyard, anyway?


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