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Heraldry Guide Glossary

Abased - Lowered

Addorser - Back to back; said of beasts, etc., and of wings so placed; also Endorsed

Affronte - Of a beast or object so placed to show its full front to the observer; sometimes used as a synonym for guardant (q.v.)

Ambulant - Walking

Annulet - A ring

Arched - In the form of an arch; also, Enarched

Argent - Silver, usually represented as white

Armed - Of beasts, monsters and birds in reference to teeth, talons, horns and claws; when applied to men or human limbs it is synonymous with armoured; also applied to arrows

Azure - Blue (from Arabic Lazura)

Balance - A pair of scales

Barb - Applied to the leaf-like sepals appearing between the petals of the heraldic rose; also to the head of an arrow

Beaked - Of the beaks of birds or monsters

Bearing - Any heraldic device or figure borne in arms

Belled - Having a bell or bells attached, e.g., a falcon

Bezant - A gold roundle

Blazon - The technical description of heraldic insignia; the word should not be applied to painted arms which are emblazonments

Bordure - Narrow border

Caboshed - Of an animal's head affronte and cut off so as to show no part of the neck

Caduceus - The staff of Mercury, consisting of a ball-headed rod, winged, and entwined with two serpents

Centaur - The man-horse of mythology, represented with bow and arrow; also termed Sagittarius or Sagittary

Charge - Any object or figure placed on an heraldic shield or on any other object in an armorial composition; the shield or other object on which the charge is placed is said to be charged

Checky - Checkered

Chevalier - A man on horseback

Close - Of a bird when the wings lie close to the body

Combatant - Face to face; in battle

Concave - Arched

Confronte - Facing one another

Conjoined - Joined together

Cornucopia - The horn of plenty

Couchant - Lying down or sleeping

Counter - Reverse or opposite

Countercharged - Countercoloured

Courant - Running

Crenallated - Embattled; the aperatures are the crenelles or embrasured, and the pieces of wall which rise between them are merlons

Crined - Of hair or mane

Cubit arm - A hand or arm couped below the elbow

Decrescent - Of a crescent when the horns are to the sinister

Demi - The upper of front half is always understood, unless the contrary is stated

Dexter - The right-hand side of the shield from the standpoint of the man behind it

Displayed - Having the wings expanded; unfolded

Emblem - An officially approved symbolic design portraying the distinctive history, mission, and general function of an organization

Element - A symbol or group of symbols portraying a single characteristic, trait, or concept

Elevated - Raised; of wings of birds, etc.

Embowed - Bent, curved

Enhanced - Raised above the normal position

Erased - Torn off (arrache) and leaving ragged edges

Erect - Set upright, in a vertical position

Establishment - Any organization with a constituted headquarters, at group level or higher

Estoile - A star; estoile, scattered with the stars

Fasces - The lictor's axe in its bundle of rods; sometimes found in the arms of judges

Feathered, or Flighted - Applied to an arrow

Fimbriated - Having a narrow edging of a different tincture from the rest of the charge

Flexed - Bent or bowed

Fructed - Bearing fruit

Fumant - Smoking

Garb - A sheaf of corn; English "corn" is our wheat

Garnished - Appropriately adorned

Golpe - A purple roundle (rare)

Gorged - Encircled round the neck or throat

Goutte - A drop, scattered with drops

Guardant - Of a beast with its head turned so as to face the observer

Gules - Red (from Arabic gul, a red rose), abbreviated GU

Gunstone, Gunshot - A black roundle; pellet

Habited - Clothed

Hauriant - Of a fish erect with head upwards, as though drawing in air

Heraldry - The heraldry of a specific organization consists of its emblem, motto (if any), its designation, and the shield of an establishment or the disc of a unit

Heater Shield - The most popular shield for armorial display, having the shape of the base of a flat iron

Hillock - A green mount

Hilted - Used in referring to the grip and cross-piece of a sword

Hurt - A blue roundle; hurte, hurty, scattered with hurts

In lure - - Of two wings joined, tips downwards, like a hawk's lure

In point - Charges arranged pilewise so as almost to meet in the base of the shield

In splendor - Of the sun when shown (as normally) with its rays

Incensed - Having fire issuing from the mouth and ears

Increscent - Of a crescent when the horns are to the dexter

Inflamed - Burning

Inverted - Upside down; of wings when the tips are downwards

Issuant - Proceeding from or out of

Jessant - Shooting forth, as plants from earth

Jessant-de-lis - Having a fleur-de-lis shooting forth

Langued - Used when referring to the tongue of a creature

Lined - Having an inside lining; also having cords or chains attached, as to a collar

Mace - Originally a weapon, now a symbol of judicial or civic authority

Main - A hand

Maned - Refers to the mane of a lion, horse, etc.

Masoned - Used in referring to the cement or other binding material in a piece of masonry or brickwork

Mill-rind - The iron affixed to the centre of a millstone; it sometimes takes the form of a cross moline

Mount - A hillock, usually in the base of a shield

Mullet - Star

Murrey - Purple red (mulberry colour)

Naiant - Swimming

Nebuly - In stylized cloud form

Ogress - A black roundle

Or - Gold; also yellow

Over all - Of a charge when it is borne over all others

Passant - Walking past

Pegasus - The winged horse

Pellet - A black roundle; pellete, pellety, scattered with pellets

Pennant - A long streamer-like pennon

Phoenix - Represented as an eagle issuing from flames

Pierced - Perforated and showing the field or some other tincture through the hole

Pile - A pie shape, point to base

Pily-bendy - A field divided into a number of pile-shaped pieces bendwise

Plate - A silver roundle

Pomme - A green roundle

Pommeml - The ball at the end of a sword hilt

Portcullis - A defense for a gateway; Royal badge of the Tudors

Proper - In natural or normal colors

Purpure - Purple, abbreviated purp

Quarterly, quartered - Cut in fourths

Queue - The tail of an animal

Quill, Quilled - Terms used when referring to the pen or a feather

Rayonne - Encircled with or formed of rays

Raguly - Of a staff or limb ragged

Rampant - On one hind foot and prepared to battle

Regurdant - Of an animal looking over its back

Respectant - Face to face

Rising - About to take wing

Rod of Aesculapius - A serpent entwined about a rod; an emblem of healing

Rompu - Broken, or interrupted

Sable - Black, abbreviated sa

Salient - Springing

Saltirewise - Crossed diagonally, X

Sea-horse, Sea-wolfe - The fore-part of an animal joined to a fish-tail

Seeded - Used when referring to the seed vessels of flowers, etc.

Sergreant - Rampant, in the case of a griffin or dragon

Sejant - Of an animal represented in a sitting position

Seme - Strewn or scattered with any charge, e.g., seme-de-lis (strewn with fleurs-de-lis), seme of roses, etc.; also Aspersed, Poudre, or Powdered

Shafted - Used when referring to the shaft of a spear, arrow, etc.

Shamrock - The emblem of Ireland; sometimes represented as true to nature, and sometimes conventionally as a trefoil slipped

Sinister - The left hand side of the shield from the standpoint of the man behind it

Soaring - Flying aloft

Springing - An attitude of deer and similar animals

Stringed - Having strings or ribbons, as a harp, bugle-horn, etc.; also used when referring to a bow-string

Surmounted - Applied to a charge over which another charge is laid

Tenne - Orange or tawny

Torteau - A red roundle, (pl. torteaux)

Transfixed - Pierced through

Triparted - Split into three parts

Unguled - Used when referring to the hoofs of animals

Unit - Lowest level of organization of the Air Force; an organization with no headquarters; squadrons and numbered flights are units

Vert - Green

Vested - Clothed

Voided - Of a charge with the middle removed, leaving little more than the outline
Volant - Flying

Waves of the sea - Usually represented naturally

Wavy - Stylized waves formation