Heraldic Terms

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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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