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

MLA Citation/Reference

"Heraldic Terms". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.

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