The dictionary meaning for bestow: to give something as an honour or present.

Why it is said "The trophy was bestowed upon the winner"?

Why not The "trophy was bestowed to the winner"?

I have one more sentence:

The George Cross is a decoration that is bestowed upon/on British civilians for acts of great bravery.

closed as off-topic by StoneyB, JavaLatte, FumbleFingers, stangdon, Glorfindel Apr 8 '17 at 19:02

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is one of those why questions which has no because. It's simply the idiom: bestow takes on or upon phrases to designate the recipient. – StoneyB Apr 8 '17 at 15:18
  • @StoneyB It's simply the idiom -> This is something that instructs me not to worry much but to use bestow upon to designate the recipient. – Gt_R Apr 8 '17 at 17:20
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    Think of it as placing a crown on a recipient's head (upon them)... or pinning a medal on their chest. – Stew C Apr 8 '17 at 18:35
  • A suggested edit by a new user made an argument for reopening this question - I'm reproducing it in part here so that it can be considered by the community: This question should not have been closed for the reasons given. The commenters' assertion that there is no reason--a "why with no because", and that this is "just the idiom" is factually incorrect. There IS a clear and specific, factual answer to why the phrase works this way. The original meaning of bestow (as derived from Old English) was not "to give" or "to gift" but rather "to put" or "to place." – ColleenV Aug 4 '17 at 16:17
  • @Davo Please do not approve suggested edits that are "attempts to reply". Reject them and if you think the content is valuable and should be added as a comment, add it (or flag it for the moderation team). – ColleenV Aug 4 '17 at 16:19

The reason is that 'bestow' implies that a superior subject is acting on an inferior object. Therefore the action is not a horizontal one, but a downward one. If something is given from above then it naturally falls on the object.

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