Glossary of Heraldic Terms
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Glossary of Heraldic Terms 

Appended below are basically only those heraldic terms that lend themselves to the general definition and interpretation of the Lindsay coat-of-arms. 

  1. achievement – a full coat-of-arms with crest, helmet, mantling, shield, motto and where applicable, coronet of rank, supporters and insignia of orders.

  2. antique crown – a crown composed of five or more sharp points mounted on a circlet.

  3. argent – silver or white

  4. armed – describes the horns, tusks, teeth or talons of a beast, monster or bird of prey when of a different tincture from the body; wearing armour.  when the horns, claws, or teeth of any beast, and the beak or talons of any bird, are in colour different from the body, it is said to be armed of the colour.

  5. armiger – any person who bears arms by lawful authority.

  6. azure – bright blue.

  7. battlement - upper works of a castle or tower.

  8. blazon – the written description of armorial bearings; to describe a coat of arms using correct heraldic terminology.

  9. cadency – the system whereby a coat of arms is differenced to distinguished the cadets of a family from its head and from one another.  Included in marks of Cadency are the label (1st son), crescent, mollet, martel, annulet, fleur-de-lis, rose, cross flory, octofoil. 

  10. cadet – a junior member or branch of a family.

  11. charge – any device or figure placed upon a shield.

  12. chequy – describes a field or charge which is divided into three or more rows of small squares of alternate tinctures.

  13. debruised – describes any charge over which an ordinary or sub-ordinary is placed.

  14. ducal coronet – a gold coronet of four strawberry leaves (three visible) set on a rim the jewels of which are shown but not coloured.  Ducal, if not otherwise described, should exhibit three leaves only.  Eastern, or Antique, represented with five points.

  15. fess – one of the ordinaries, a broad horizontal band extending across the centre of the shield.

  16. field - the background or surface of the shield on which charges are placed.

  17. guardant – describes a beast or monster with its head turned to face the observer.

  18. Gule - To color red; to give the color of gules to.

  19. Gules - (guelz) Red.

  20. langued - tongued.

  21. Mullet - A bearing resembling a five-pointed star.  It is sometimes called a spur rowel, but it was in use long before the rowelled spur.  When used as a difference it denotes the third son.  Mole or Molet: old form of Mullet. Molette d'ιperon, (fr.): Mullet.

  22. Or - the color gold.

  23. ordinary - a major heraldic charge.  Opinions differ as to the number of these charges but most authorities include the bend, bend sinister, chevron, chief, cross, fess, pale, pile and saltire.

  24. pale - one of the ordinaries, a vertical band down the middle of the shield.

  25. proper – depicted in natural colours.

  26. quarter -  to divide the shield into four or more compartments; a sub-ordinary occupying one quarter of the shield.

  27. rampart – describes a beast or monster standing on one hind leg.

  28. rising – describes a bird about to take flight.

  29. sable – black.

  30. supporters – additaments, usually human or animal figures placed on either side of a shield as though supporting it.


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