*noun*: A piece of plate armor to protect the shoulder.
From French épaule (shoulder), from Latin spatula (blade). Earliest
documented use: before 1396.
“The influence is most obvious in the rather silly haute couture designs of
John Galliano for Christian Dior, with their exaggerated pauldrons … over
their svelte models’ right shoulders.”
Richard Nilsen; Middle Ages and High Fashion; The Arizona Republic
(Phoenix); May 31, 2009.