A piece of armour covering the shoulder; a shoulder plate.
Late Middle English. Origin uncertain. Probably partly aphetic from Middle French espauleron shoulder plate, and partly a transferred use of Middle French paleron shoulder blade from pale blade of an oar + -eron, diminutive suffix. Middle French espauleron shows a transferred use of espauleron shoulder blade, apparently an alteration (after paleron) of a derivative of espalle, espaule shoulder.