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Alapa

A Latin word signifying a blow on the cheek with the open hand. Such a blow was given by the master to his manumitted slave as a symbol of manumission, and as a reminder that it was the last unrequited indignity which he was to receive. In fact, the very word manumit is derived from two Latin words meaning to send by hand. Hence, in medieval times, the same word was applied to the blow inflicted on the cheek of the newly created knight by the sovereign who created him, with the same symbolic signification. This was sometimes represented by the blow on the shoulder with the flat of a sword, which has erroneously been called the accolade (see Knighthood).

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