Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry - A

Abased - This term is used (1) when the wings, for instance, instead of being expanded, with their apices pointing upward, either look down toward the point of the shield, or else are shut; (2) when a chevron, fesse or another ordinary is borne lower than its usual situation.

Abasement - [See ABASED]

Abatelement - (Ab-a-te'-le-mang) - A mark of disgrace affixed to an escutcheon. [See ABATEMENT]

Abatement - Abatements are real or imaginary marks of disgrace affixed to an escutcheon on account of some flagrantly dishonorable action on the part of the bearer. There is scarcely an instance on record, however, of such marks of disgrace having been actually affixed to an escutcheon. (Some times called rebatements.)

Abyss - The center of an escutcheon. For example, to bear a fleur-de-lis in abyss is to have it placed in the middle of the shield free from any other bearing.

Abyssal - Pertaining to an abyss.

Accident - (Ac'-ci-dent) An additional mark on a coat of arms, which may be retained or eliminated without altering its essential character.

Accolade - (Ac'-co-lade) The ceremony by which in mediaeval times one was dubbed a knight. Antiquaries are not agreed on what this was. It has been made an embrace around the neck, a kiss or a slight blow upon the cheek or shoulder.

"The new attorney-general having stooped down without objection to the usual accolade." - Townsend's Lives of 12 Eminent Judges: Lord Eldon.

Accolle - (Ac-col'-le) Gorged or collared, as lions, dogs and other animals sometimes are in escutcheons. Wreathed, entwined or joined together, as two shields sometimes are by their sides. The arms of a husband and wife were often thus placed. (Gloss. of heraldry, 1847.) Used substantively: (1) An animal with a crown on its head or a collar around its neck; (2) two shields united to each other by their sides; (3) a key, baton, mace, sword or other implement or weapon placed saltirewise behind the shield. (Ibid.)

Accompanied - (Ac-com'-pan-ied) Between. For example, accompanied by four crescents, would mean between four crescents.

Accompaniment - (Ac-com'-pan-i-ment) Any additions made to a shield by way of ornament, as supporters, etc.

Accost - [See ACCOSTED]

Accosted - (Ac-cost'-ed) Applied to a charge supported on both sides by other charges. Example: A pale accosted by six mullets. This term is also applied to two animals proceeding side by side.

Accoutre - (Ak-ku'-ter) To dub a knight.

"One was accoutred when the cry began, Knight of the Silver Moon, Sir Marmadan, His vow was ( and he will perform his vow), Armed at all points, with terror on his brow, To judge the land, to purge atrocious crimes." Cowper: Anti-Thelyphtora.

Achievement - (A-chieve'-ment) A complete heraldic composition, showing a shield with its quarterings, impalements, supporters, crest, motto, etc. This term is applied especially to a funeral escutcheon, exhibiting the rank and family of a deceased nobleman or gentleman, which at his death is placed in front of his house or in some other prominent place. [This is commonly called HATCHMENT.]

Acorned - (A'korned) An oak with acorns on it. (Placed on an escutcheon.)

Addition - Something added to a coat of arms as a mark of honor, such as, for instance, a bordure, a quarter, a canton, a gyron or a pile. [Opposed to ABATEMENT.]

"They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase Soil our addition; and indeed it takes From our achievements." --Shakespeare: Hamlet, 1, 4.

Addorse - (Ad-dor'se) To place back to back.

Addorsed - (Ad-dor'st) Used as an adjective: Two animals on a coat of arms set or turned back to back. This term is occasionally used for other figures capable of being placed back to back.

Adosse - The French word sometimes used for ADDORSED.

Adoption - Arms of Adoption. [See under Arms.]

Adoptive - Adoptive arms are those held by a person not by right of descent or in virtue of himself, but merely by the gift or consent of another.

Adorned - (Ad-orn'ed) Ornamented or furnished with a charge.

Adumbration - (Ad-um-bra'-tion) A figure on a coat of arms traced in outline only, or painted in a darker shade of the same color as the field on which it is represented. Families who had lost their estates, but not their armorial bearings, are said to have occasionally adopted this method of indicating their peculiar position. (Also called transparency.)

Affrontee - (Af-fron'-ta) Two animals on a coat of arms facing each other. Face to face, as contradistinguished from back to back. [See ADDORSED.] Confronting one another is a phrase sometimes used in this connection.

Agacella - (Ag-a-cel'la) An antelope, or a tiger with horns and hoofs.

Aiguisee - (Ag-wis-se') Sharply pointed. Applied especially to a cross on an escutcheon which has its four angles sharpened, but still terminating in obtuse angles. It differs from the cross fitchee in that whereas the latter tapers by degrees to a point, the former does so only at the ends.

Ailettes - (Ai'-lettes) Small escutcheons fastened to the shoulders of armed knights. (Sometimes called emerasses.) They were of steel; were introduced in the reign of Edward I, and were the ancestor of the modern epaulet.

Aisle - (I-la) Winged.

Alaund - A dog. Specifically, a hunting dog.

Albany - One of the herald's of the Lord Lyon's Court. Scotland.

Alberia - (Al-ber'-i-a) A plain shield; without ornament or armorial bearings.

Allerion - (Al-ler'-i-on) An eagle without a beak or feet, and with wings expanded, their points turned downward. (Denoting imperialists vanquished and disarmed.)

Alliance - Arms of Alliance. [See under Arms]

Allocamelus - (Al-lo-ca-mel'-us) The asscamel, a mythical animal compounded of the camel and the ass. This was used as a crest by the Eastland Company.

Allumee - (Al-lu'-may) This term is used to describe the eyes of animals when they are depicted sparkling or red.

Allusive - Allusive Arms. [See under Arms.]

Alternate - Alternate quarters: A term applied to the first and fourth quarters on an escutcheon, which are generally of the same kind. Also applied to the second and forth , which also similarly resemble each other.

Ambulant - This signifies walking: coambulant, walking together.

Amethyst - (Am'-eth-yst) The term applied to the color called purpure when describing the armorial bearings of peers.

Amphisien cockatrice - (Am-phis'i-en cock'-a-trice) A name for the mythical animal called the Basilisk. It resembles a cockatrice, but is two headed, the second head being affixed to its tail.

Anchor - In heraldry the anchor is an emblem of hope.

Anchored Cross - In this cross the four extremities resemble the flukes of an anchor. It is also called anchry or ancre. It is emblematic of hope through the cross of Christ.

Ancient (Anshent) - The guidon used at funerals. A small flag ending in a point.

Anime - (An-e-may') Of a different tincture from the animal itself. The term is used when wild animals are represented with fire proceeding from their mouths. Also called incensed.

Annodated - (An'-no-dated) Bowed, embowed or bent like the letter S.

Annulate - (An'-u-lat) Having a ring or annulet. (Used specifically of a cross with its extremities thus fretted.)

Annulet- (An'-u-let) A ring borne on an escutcheon. Originally it stood as the symbol of nobility and jurisdiction, being the gage of royal favor and protection. In describing the arms the color of the annulet should always be expressed. When used as a difference, the annulet represents the fifth son.

Anserated Cross - (An'-ser-a-ted) A cross with one of its extremities shaped like the heads of lions, eagles, etc.

Ante - (An'-tay) Engrafted or joined into each other in any way, as by dovetails, swallowtails or rounds.

Antelope - Agacella is the heraldic antelope. Brooke, Lord Cobham, had for a dexter supporter an agacella, horned, tusked and armed or.

Apaume - (A-pa'u-me) Appalmed. A hand opened so as to exhibit the palm. A baronet of England or Ireland bears a sinister hand couped gules on an inescutcheon or a canton. It is blazoned "argent, a sinister hand, couped at the wrist, and apaume, gules."

Apple of Grenada - The pomegranate.

Appointee - (Ap-poi'n-tay) Pointed. Applied to things which touch at the points or ends, as two swords touching each other at their points or tips.

Aquilate - (Ak'-wil-ate) To adorn with eagles' heads.

Aquilated - (Ak'-wil-ated) Adorned with eagles' heads. (Used almost exclusively in the past participle.)

Arbalest - [See ARBLAST] A crossbow, consisting of a shaft of wood and furnished with a string and trigger. It was not a popular weapon, as it required no strength or manliness in its use. (Also written arbalist, arbalest and arbalet.)

Arched - Signifies that an ordinary on an escutcheon is bent or bowed. (Sometimes called archy.)

Archy - [See ARCHED]

Argent - (Ar'-jent) White. The silvery color on coats of arms. In the arms of princes it is sometimes called lune, and in those of peers pearl. In engravings it is generally represented by the natural color of the paper. It represents purity, innocence, beauty or gentleness.

He beareth gules upon his shield, A chevron argent in the field. -Tales of a Wayside Inn.

Used as an adjective: Of the coloring of coats armor.

"Rinaldo flings As swift as fiery lightning kindled new; His argent eagle with her silver wings, In field of azure, fair Erminia knew." -Fairfax

Arm - The human arm is sometimes used in emblazoning. Tremaine of Colacombe bore gules, three dexter arms conjoined at the shoulder, flexed in triangle or, fisted argent. The arm is often found as part of the crest. {See CUBIT ARM.]

Armed - (1) Furnished with arms. (2) Adding to anything that which will give it greater strength or efficiency. (3) The term armed of applies to a beast of prey when his teeth and claws are differently colored from the rest of his body. It applies also to predatory birds when their talons and beaks are differently colored from the rest of the body. (4) Armed at all points, in days gone by, meant a man covered with armor except his face.

Armor - Coat Armor. [The same as COAT OF ARMS.]

Armor Buckle - A lozenge shaped buckle.

Armorial - (Ar-mo'ri-al) As an adjective: Pertaining or relating to heraldic arms. As substantive: A book containing coats of arms. Thus the phrase occurs, "the French armorial," "the Spanish armorial," etc.

Armorist - One well acquainted with coats of arms; skilled in heraldry. (Bailey.)

Armory - From the word armor, appertaining to coats of arms.

Arms - Arms or Armories were so called because originally displayed upon defensive arms, and coats of arms because formerly embroidered upon the surcoat or camis worn over the armor. The term coat of arms, once introduced, was afterward retained, even when displayed elsewhere than on the coat. In the days when knights were so encased in armor that no means of identifying them was left, the practice was introduced of painting their insignia of honor on their shield as an easy method of distinguishing them. Originally these were granted only to individuals, but were afterward made hereditary by King Richard I, during his crusade to Palestine. They may be divided into two general classes: (1) Public, as those of kingdoms, provinces, bishoprics, corporate bodies, etc. And (2) private, being those of private families. These two classes are again separated into many subdivisions, founded mainly on the different methods by which they were granted.

Arms of Adoption - This term is used in a case where the last representative of an aristocratic family adopts an outsider to assume his armorial bearings and inherit his estates.

Arms of Alliance - Arms which came into a mans possession by matrimonial alliances, as the arms of his wife which are impailed with his own, and those of heiresses, which he in like manner quarters. To illustrate: When Gilbert Talbot (who died in 1274) married Gwenllian, heiress of the Welsh Prince Rhys ap Griffith, he laid aside his paternal coat - "bendy of 10 pieces, argent and gules" - and adopted that of the lady - "gules, a lion rampant or, within a border engrailed of the field" - as still used by the Earls of Shrewsbury.

Arms of Assumption - Those arms which a person may legitimately assume.

Arms of Attribution - Arms that are fictitious, such as indulged in to absurd extent by the heralds of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

"Almost all the older genealogists attribute coats of arms to ancestors long before they were in use. On the tomb of Queen Elizabeth are emblazoned the arms of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, and of Henry I and Matilda of Scotland, all, of course, pure inventions. It is only of very late years, since a critical spirit has found its way even into heraldry, that these absurdities have been exposed." -- Ency. Brit., vol xi (1902).

Arms of Community - Those borne by corporations, religious houses, colleges, cities and boroughs, inns of court, guilds and the cinque ports, some of which go back to an early period.

Arms of Concession - Arms granted by a sovereign to commemorate some great deed. The heart on the arms of the Douglases is in memory of the mission of James Lord Douglas with the heart of Robert Bruce to the Holy Land. The families of De la Warr, Pelham, Vane and Fane bear arms in allusion to the share their ancestors had in the capture of John of France at Poitiers.

Arms of Dominion - Are those belonging to empires, kingdoms, principalities, states, etc., officially used by the ruler de facto. The origin of some of these arms is obscure, such as the three legs conjoined in triangle of the Isle of Man and the lion of Scotland. Occasionally the arms of dominion were those of an early sovereign or governor. Thus the lions of England belonged to the Plantagnet kings. In the United States the Stars and Stripes, now so well known throughout the world, had their origin in the coat of arms of the first President, the immortal George Washington, whose English ancestors bore "argent, two bars gules, in chief three mullets of the second." The arms of the State of Maryland are those born by Cecililus Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, Lord Proprietary of the Colony.

Arms of Family - Those received by some distinguished person and borne with modifications by all his descendants.

Arms of Honor - The same as Arms of Concession.

Arms of Office - Those borne by holders of certain offices which designate that office. For instance, the ancestors of the Dukes of Ormond, being hereditary butlers of Ireland, bore three covered cups. Garter, the principal king-at-arms of England, bears "argent, a cross gules, on a chief azure a crown or, encircled with a garter of the order buckled and nowed betwen a lion of England and a lily of France."

Arms of Patronage - (1) Arms borne by the lesser gentry which were derived from the arms of the greater; arms on which there is some mark of subjection or dependence. (2) Arms to indicate the connection between the follower and his feudal lord. (3) Arms added to the family arms as a token of superiority, right or jurisdiction.

Arms of Pretension - Arms quartered by a sovereign belonging to a state over which he does not hold authority. Nearly all the earlier European sovereigns bore arms of this character. The kings of England, from Edward III until 1801, in the reign of George III, bore the lilies of France. The treaty of Amiens (January 1, 1801) stipulated that this quartering of the French arms should be abandoned.

Arms of Succession - The same as Feudal Arms.

Arms Royal - The personal arms borne by the sovereign of a country, as distinguished from those borne by him in his official capacity, being those of the country over which he rules. As set forth in Arms of Dominion, the personal arms of a ruler sometimes become those of the country. On the other hand, neither the arms of Baliol, Bruce nor Stuart ever became the arms of Scotland. Cromwell placed his arms on an escutcheon of pretense over those of the commonwealth, and William of Nassau did the same with those of England.

Allusive Arms - (Called also canting or punning arms, and by the French Armes parlantes) are those in which the charges suggest the bearers name. Thus were the castle and lion for Castile and Leon, the fers de cheval of Ferrers, the corbeau or raven for Corbet, the herons of Heron, the falcon of Falconer, the swine's head of Swinebourne, the hammers of Hammerton and the swallows (hirondelles) of Arundel. Allusive arms were treated with respect until the time of James I, when they fell into disrepute.

Assumptive Arms - This now applies to arms which have been appropriated without proper authority. Originally, however, the term had a different meaning, as seen in the following:

". . . Assumptive arms are such as a person has a title to bear, by virtue of some action done or performed by him, which by birth he could not wear; as if a person that has naturally no coat should, in lawful war, take a prince or nobleman prisoner, he has from that time a right to bear the arms of such prisoner by virtue of that military law that the dominion of things taken in lawful war passes to the conqueror."-Dych: Dict. (1758).

Canting Arms - The same as Allusive Arms.

Feudal Arms - The arms borne by the possessors of certain lordships or estates .

Paternal Arms - Those that descend by custom to the male heir. The descendants of females (heiresses) can only quarter their arms, except by special license.

Arriswise - (Ar'-ris-wise) With one angle facing; showing the top and two sides. Said of a rectangular bearing, such as an altar.

Arrondee - (Ar-ron'-dy) - Made round.

Arrondell - A swallow.

Arrow - The arrow is frequently displayed in heraldry, either singly or in sheaves.

Ashen Keys - The seed vessels of the ash tree. Occasionally represented on an escutcheon.

Aspect - The position which an animal occupies with regard to the eye of the spectator. It may be (1) full aspect, that is full-faced, looking toward the spectator; (2) passant, which is side toward him; (3) trian aspect, neither the one or the other, but between the two.

Aspectant - (As-pect'-ant) A term applied to two birds facing each other, or looking at each other.

Aspecting - [The same as ASPECTANT.]

Aspersed - (As-per'-sed) Strewn or powdered with a number of small charges. {See SEME.]

Assaultant - (As-sa'-ult-ant) Assailant. Applied to a predatory animal when represented on the escutcheon as if leaping on its prey.

Assumption - Arms of Assumption. [See under ARMS.]

Assumptive - Assumptive Arms. [See under ARMS.]

Assurgent - (As-sur'-gent) Rising out of.

At Gaze - Applied to the hart, buck, stag or hind when represented full-faced, or with the face directly to the front.

Athole - One of the pursuivants of the Ofice of Arms, Ireland.

Attire - (At-ti'-re) The single horn of a stag. (The plural attires is used for two horns.)

Attired - Ornamented with horns or antlers. Applied to the stag or hart. A reindeer is represented with double attires - one pair erect and the other drooping. (Boutell: English Heraldry.)

"Attired is a term used among heralds when they have occasion to speak of the horns of a buck or stag." - Bullokar: Eng. Expos. (1656).

Attribution - Arms of Attribution. {See under ARMS.]

Augmentation - Arms of Augmentation of Honor - A grant from a sovereign of an additional charge on a coat of arms to commemorate some great deed or a notable event. [See Arms of Concession, under ARMS.]

Aulned - (awn'd) Awned; bearded (Used of ears of corn.)

Au vol - [French.] On the wing. (Said of a bird.) [VOLANT.]

Avellane Cross - (A-vel'-lane) A cross resembling four filberts.

Averdant - (A-ver'-dant) Covered with green herbage. The term is used specially of a mount in a base. (Gloss. Of Heraldry.)

Averlye - (Av'-er-lie) The same as ASPERSED, which see.

Aversant - (A-ver'-sant) Turned away. Applied to a hand of which only the back can be seen. Sometimes called dorsed.

Awned - {See AULNED.]

Axe - [See BATTLE AXE.]

Aylet - (Ay'-let) A name used to designate the Cornish cough (Fregilus graculus). A bird belonging to the crow family.

Ayrant - Bright blue. Used especially in describing the escutcheons of gentlemen beneath the degree of baron. The same color on a nobleman's coat is called sapphire, from the stone, and that on the coat of a sovereign prince Jupiter, from the planet of that name. Engravers represent azure in heraldry by horizontal lines.

Azure - Bright blue. Used especially in describing the escutcheons of gentlemen beneath the degree of baron. The same color on a nobleman's coat is called sapphire, from the stone, and that on the coat of a sovereign prince Jupiter, from the planet of that name. Engravers represent azure in heraldry by horizontal lines.

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