I've searched all the dictionaries I can think of; I've read countless news items about award winners; and I've googled various strings such as "the jury's * reads" etc, but I still haven't been able to find the English word for the statement explaining why a person has won an award. So, now I'm turning to you. What word would you use instead of X below:

"John Doe has been awarded the prestigious BlueBerry Award for his discoveries in the field of blueberry picking. The jury's X reads: [statement detailing why John Doe has won the award]"

I've also googled "the jury's motivation reads", "the jury's justification reads", and "the jury's explanation reads" on BrE pages, but without any luck (the version with "motivation" got a few hits, but that's probably because they all had some kind of Swedish background (in Swedish, "motivation" is the word we use for this)).

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    I think for Nobel prizes they say explanation for the prize. Leave out the word jury.
    – Lambie
    Oct 11, 2022 at 17:42
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    We usually refer to judges when we mean the people responsible for deciding who won a competition and/or deserves a prize. Juries are much more closely associated with the context of (often 12) ordinary people (not legal experts) in a courtroom - who get to decide whether someone is guilty of a crime. Oct 11, 2022 at 17:46
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    The question is unclear whether this is a talent contest (jury) or academic award (discoveries). Oct 11, 2022 at 19:07
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    It does, as shown by various answers which assume one or the other. In mine, there is rapturous applause, others might have polite smiles. Oct 11, 2022 at 19:36
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    @WeatherVane Hm... right – yeah, I see what you mean, and you're right, of course! That explains why "accolade" etc didn't seem quite fitting, because apparently, what I'm after is the second kind only (although I didn't quite realise it until now, haha)
    – Helen
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:50

5 Answers 5


His Nobel Prize citation read
“for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations".

That's just one example. There are lots more written instances of the three words highlighted above, if you follow the link. In many cases it's obvious the word "citation" very specifically refers to the exact text of the printed material that accompanies, justifies, and/or explains why the recipient is being given the award.


I suggest

The accolade reads . . .

Merriam-Webster has

1 b : an expression of praise

  • Funny thing: I just googled "the accolade reads" award and got two hits, one of which actually combined your suggestion and that given by @FumbleFingers: "Its cititation [sic!] for the accolade reads: "The company sells to more than ..." :)
    – Helen
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:41

For something a bit more everyday than the other answers so far, rationale would work fine.


Plaudits (Wiktionary) A mark or expression of applause; praise bestowed.

Laudation (Wiktionary) The act of lauding; high praise or commendation.

Panegyric (Wiktionary) A formal speech publicly praising someone or something.

Other words such as Commendation, Felicitation and still many others can be used. These words can also be combined with "speech" as in "laudatory speech", "commendation speech", "felicitation speech" etc.

  • FWIW, I've never heard of "plaudits" or "laudation" (nor has my browser's spell checker), and I didn't know what "panegyric" meant until I read your definition.
    – gotube
    Oct 11, 2022 at 18:26
  • @gotube Interesting! I knew all these words except panegyric XD (I just didn't think of them in this context, because they are not quite what I'm after (just as "accolade" isn't). Seriously though, I thought at least "commendation" is a common enough word?
    – Helen
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:45
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    @Helen Sorry, I just meant the first three suggestions. I've edited my comment
    – gotube
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:51
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    Also, none of these words have the meaning of "rationale" or "explanation" that the OP is after
    – gotube
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:53
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    Approbation (collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/approbation) and endorsement (collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/endorsement) come close to an "explanation", but I have never heard them used in this way, but have heard them used in an office setting or with consumer products. "Explanary" (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/explanary) would be appropriate , but have also not heard it used on stage.
    – banuyayi
    Oct 12, 2022 at 4:49

A speech given as the award is presented is a presentation or award presentation speech. This typically tells the audience why the recipient deserves the award. (Entertainment awards that keep the winners’ names secret from even the presenters are exceptions.) Collins gives the definition and examples:

A presentation is a formal event at which someone is given a prize or award.

He received his award at a presentation in London yesterday. ...at the presentation ceremony.

  • Thanks – this is something other than what I was after though :)
    – Helen
    Oct 12, 2022 at 16:06

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