Deck the halls - meaning

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, / Fa la la la la, la la la la. / Tis the season to be jolly, / Fa la la la la, la la la la

A friend and I at work have debated the word deck. Is it merely a play on the prefix “dec” as in decorate? I don’t think the two words are related at all. It looks to me that vordecken - to cover, is the word in the song.

Etymology: Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare, from decor-, decus ornament, honor

Main Entry: deck
Pronunciation: \ˈdek
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English dekke covering of a ship, from Middle Dutch *dec covering, probably from Middle Low German vordeck, from vordecken to cover, from vor- for- + decken to cover; akin to Old High German decchen to cover

Deck is still occasionally used today in the same sense as it is in the song. For example, the phrase “decked out

The verb form of deck per M-W online:

The noun and verb form certainly appear related, with the covering of the ship and covering the halls in greenery having the same origin.

Perhaps it is short for bedeck?

To deck is to adorn, to make visually attractive. One decks the halls (i.e., common rooms) by adorning them with boughs of holly, which is an evergreen plant with waxy green 'normal" (i.e., not needle) leaves, and bright red berries.

It’s not short for decorate but rather a cognate from the same source. And of course “to deck” also has the meaning of “to put a deck on,” as in a tree-decked ship.

… and sharp, spiny leaves that will snag your sweater, if you’re lucky, or possibly your flesh, which then adds another touch of bright red to the Christmas experience.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Get too close and you’ll be sorry.
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Must we do this, every season?
Fa la la la la, la la la la
I must attend to my new lesion
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Thanks everyone!