History and Uses of Neck Lanyards

Feb - 08 2016 | By

Many people use neck lanyards every day to carry items like their ID’s, badges and other small objects. Students and professionals use them, but not many people know how lanyards came to be. It is quite interesting that this very useful tool has been around for so many centuries. The history of lanyards can actually be very noteworthy.

Origin of the Word Lanyard

The first references of the use of lanyards can be dated back to 15th century France. The word lanyard was taken from a French word “laniere,” which means a strap or cord device. However, even before the device was called lanyard in the 15th century, it is already being used for many years.

Neck LanyardsSoon after, members of the French military used lanyards to connect their sword, whistle, or pistol to their uniform. A well-built pistol lanyard can easily be detached and connected back by the user, but the lanyard can stay attached to the pistol whether it is in a holster or drawn.

First Use of Lanyards

Before neck lanyards were used to hold IDs and other stuff, lanyards were used by sailors as a device when they were aboard vessels. Because boats in the past need more workforces to operate, people encountered all kinds of risks, particularly those who have to tighten the riggings. A lot of them also faced problems since they have to carry items like whistles and knives. So, rather than putting their life in danger, they made lanyards with the use of spare ropes. They tied the ropes together, knotted their items, and wore these around their necks.

Lanyards in the 19th Century

Lanyards remain to be popular as time goes by. In the 19th century, people attached their weapons to lanyards. However, lanyards were hidden underneath their coats. This is their way of defending themselves from their enemies. Although lanyards were hidden, weapons such as a pistol or knife can be withdrawn easily. As a matter of fact, the location of the lanyard made it easy to protect themselves from attackers.


Even militaries recognize the practical use of lanyards. Inspired by how the French military used their lanyards, militaries use them to hold their pistols and other small weapons. During the World War II, American and British soldiers used lanyards.

Through the years, lanyards are used as an ornament to military outfit. They were also used to indicate the soldier’s rank. While it was initially used as a simple cord, it later became woven and featured more diverse colors.

Mountain Climbing

Lanyards not only have practical uses as neck lanyards, but they are also an important device in mountain climbing. This outdoor sport is really dangerous, so mountaineers need a helpful device that will keep them from falling. They use a type of lanyard, which is known as a linemen lanyard. Only the strongest materials are used to make this lanyard so that the rope will not break.

Arts and Crafts

This is very popular for children during their summer camps. The process of creating lanyards using arts and crafts is called boondoggle, rex-lace, or scoubidou.

Modern Uses

Nowadays, lanyards are not used to hold weapons. They are now commonly used for identification. The most famous types are neck lanyards with a light plastic holder attached to them to hold ID cards. Aside from identification, other people use them to hold their cell phone, handheld gadgets, keychain, camera, etc.

Many people may not have thought that lanyards were used in the military to carry objects. Because of its versatility, neck lanyards have become really popular over the years. Not only are they capable of holding ID cards, they are also great in holding other valuable items.

Wholesale Lanyards is your one-stop lanyard solution shop! If you need Neck lanyards, badge lanyards, key ring lanyards, cell phone lanyards or any other style, we can provide it.