Old English sculdor "shoulder," from West Germanic *skuldro (cf. Middle Dutch scouder, Dutch schouder, Old Frisian skoldere, Middle Low German scholder, Old High German scultra, German Schulter), of unknown origin, perhaps related to shield (n.). Meaning "edge of the road" is attested from 1933. Cold shoulder (Neh. ix:29) translates Latin humerum recedentum dare in Vulgate (but see cold shoulder). Shoulder-length, of hair, is from 1951.