Heraldic Terms

Heraldic Terms

As with all aspects of heraldry, heraldic terms were very important in that they described a very specific part of heraldry and had a very specific meaning.

 

Accosted: side by side

 

Addorsed: back to back

 

Affronté: when an animal is seen in full front view

 

Aislé: with wings

 

Ambulent: walking

 

Ancient Crown: a circlet with 4 fleurs-de-lis on it (3 visible)

 

Apaumé: referring to a hand showing the palm

 

Arched: like an arch

 

Armed: referring to claws, teeth, horns or talons of animals/birds

 

Armigerous: applied to people who possessed coats of arms

 

Armorial bearings: another name for achievement of arms

 

At gaze: applied to a stag with its face looking at you

 

Attires: the horns of a deer

 

Attired: referring to horns

 

Augmentation: a special grant that allowed additions to a coat of arms often as a result of a special deed

 

Banded: with a band or ribbon around

 

Bars gemelles: barrulets placed in pairs

 

Barbed and seeded proper: a heraldic rose with five leaves in a natural colour

 

Beaked: referred to the beaks of birds and creatures like a griffin.

 

Bezanty: strewn with bezants

 

Billety: strewn with billets

 

Caboshed: applied to the head of a deer which is shown full face but with no neck

 

Cadency marks: symbols used a sons to emphasise differences between their coat of arms and their fathers

 

Canting arms: punning arms

 

Caparisoned: referred to a horse dressed for battle

 

Close: when the wings of a bird lie against iys body

 

Cockatrice: an imaginary beast made up of two different parts of two creatures

 

Combatant: when two lions faced each other seemingly in preparation to fight

 

Combed: a reference to the crest of a cock

 

Compony: a single row of chequers

 

Conjoined: joined together

 

Cotise: narrower than a bendlet

 

Cotised: a bend, fess or chevron is cotised when placed between two narrow bars.

 

Counter compony: two rows of chequers

 

Courant: running

 

Coward: an animal with its tail between its legs

 

Crined: this referred to human hair or the mane of animals

 

Crusily: scattered with little crosses

 

Dancetty: this described a zigzag line with fewer but bigger points than a line indented

 

Demi: halved

 

Dimidiation: two coats on one shield

 

Dormant: sleeping

 

Double-queued: with two tails

 

Ducally gorged and chained: with a crest coronet around the neck and a chain attached

 

Elevated: wings that are raised

 

Embowed: curved

 

Enfield: imaginary beast with the head of a fox, chest of an elephant, mane of a horse, front legs of an eagle, hind les of a greyhound and a lion’s tail

 

Eradicated: applied to a tree that is uprooted

 

Erect: in an upright position

 

Erminois: a fur – black spots on gold

 

Escutcheon: a shield

 

Escutcheon of pretence: a shield containing the arms of an heiress wife placed in the centre of her husband’s shield

 

Flory: a field scattered with fleurs-de-lis

 

Fructed: a tree bearing fruit

 

Fusil: diamond shape that is narrower than a lozenge

 

Gamb: leg of an animal

 

Gorged: placed around the neck

 

Gorges: a whirlpool

 

Goutteé: scattered with drops of liquid

 

Gyronny: where a shield has been divided into eight parts

 

Habited in: dressed in

 

Hauriant: a fish in an upright position

 

Hoofed: referred to the hooves of animals

 

Horned: referred to the horns of animals

 

Impaled: a shield that is parted down the middle so that two coats can be displayed

 

In splendour: the sun when it is shown with its rays

 

Inescutcheon: a shield placed inside another shield

 

Inverted: upside down; wings with tips downwards

 

Irradiated: with rays about it

 

Issuant: coming out of

 

Langued: referred to an animal’s tongue

 

Lined: with cords

 

Marshalling: grouping more than two or more coats of arms on one shield

 

Masoned: a reference to the lines that represent cement between bricks

 

Mural Crown: crown with the appearance of a wall with an embattled top

 

Naiant: swimming

 

Passion Nail: like a wedge and with no head

 

Pean: a fur – gold spots on black

 

Pendent: hanging

 

Per: used to show how a line is drawn to divide a shield

 

Pierced: with a hole so that another tincture shows through

 

Plate: a silver roundel

 

Platy: strewn with plates

 

Potent: a fur – made up of T-shapes

 

Queue fourché: with a forked tail

 

Radiant: charges that have the sun’s rays around them

 

Reguardant: looking behind

 

Respectant: face to face

 

Salient: springing

 

Sans: without

 

Sejant: sitting

 

Shafted: referred to the shaft of an arrow, spear etc

 

Surmounted: a charge that has another place on it

 

Tierced: divided into three

 

Torse: wreath

 

Torteau: a red roundel

 

Transfixed: pierced through

 

Trippant: used for deer shown to be walking

 

Unguled: referred to the hooves of animals

 

Urchin: a hedgehog

 

Voided: a charge with the middle removed so that only an outline remains

 

Volant: flying

 

Wattled: this described a cock’s wattles






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