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Heraldic Terms D-J

A guide to words and terms used in Heraldry

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Term Meaning
Dancy Of a line of partition, toothed or indented.
Decrescent Of a crescent, facing sinister.
Demi (demy) The upper half of a beast, bird, etc.
Dentilly Of a line of partition, indented bendwise, like the teeth of a ratchet wheel.
Device An artistic, traditional or Heraldic symbol (or symbols) chosen to represent a person.
Devisal A unique design of armorial bearings devised and recorded by a Herald in one country for a citizen of another.
Dexter Right, considered from the point of view of the person bearing the shield, thus standing behind it.
Diapering A pattern in tone, on a plain field, to represent brocade; sometimes worked in gold paint.
Dimidiation The practice wherby half of one Coat of Arms is impaled (see impalement) on a shield with half of another Coat of Arms.
Diminutive Smaller, often multiple, version of an ordinary or sub-ordinary.
Disarmed Of a creature, without his beak, claws, teeth or tusks.
Displayed Of a winged creature, spread out on the shield.
Dormant Of a creature, asleep.
Double-arched Of a line of partition
Double-queued Of a creature, with two tails.
Dovetailed Of a line of partition.
Dragon The four-legged monster of mythology.
Eagle Usually shown displayed.
Elevated Of a bird with his wings out, the tips raised.
Embattled Crenellated.
Emblazon To draw or paint a Coat of Arms in full colour.
Emblazoned Of a Coat of Arms, shown in pictorial form.
Embowed Bent at the elbow.
Embrued With blood on its point.
Enarched Of a line of partition having an arch in its inner angle.
Enfield A monster with a fox's head on a wolf's body and the forelegs and talons of an eagle.
Enfile An object is enfiled by a charge which it pierces or threads.
Engrailed Of a line of partition, curvilinearly hotched.
Eradicated Of a plant or tree, pulled up, roots and all, from the ground.
Erased Of a limb of a human being or creature, or any part of an entity, as if pulled off the main body, leaving a jagged edge.
Erect Of any item, placed upright.
Ermine Of the tinctures of Heraldry, one of the Furs; white with black 'tails'.
Ermines Of the tinctures of Heraldry, one of the Furs; black with white 'tails'.
Erminois Of the tinctures of Heraldry, one of the furs; gold with black 'tails' (see pean).
Escallop A shell and pilgrim's badge.
Escarbuncle Central boss with radiating decorated spokes, often terminating in fleurs de lis.
Escarteled Of a line of partition, having square hotches.
Escutcheon A shield, usually small, used as a charge upon another.
Escutcheon of pretence A small shield bearing the arms of an heiress placed upon the shield of her husband's arms.
Estoil (estoile) A representation of a star, with six wavy points or rays.
Face A creature's head affronty cut off cleanly behind the ears.
Falchion A broad-bladed, straight sword with one side curved.
Feather One of the coverings of a bird, used as a charge and crest.
Fetterlock A removable shackle around the feet of a creature or person.
Fesse (fess) A horizontal strip across the middle of the shield; an ordinary; ('per fesse', the field divided horizontally into two equal parts; 'in fess', charges placed on the shield in this position).
Fesse-wise Charges placed in a horizontal plane.
Fesse-point The mid-point of shield.
Field The colour that the shield is painted before anything is placed upon it, and the divisions of this, if more than one tincture is used.
Fimbriated Of a charge with a strong outline of a different tincture.
Fitchy With a point, so that it can be stuck in the ground, especially of a cross.
Flasque A narrow flaunch
Flaunch A convex segmental ordinary on either side of the shield.
Flaunches Two semi-circular sections on the sides of a shield, of a different tincture from the field.
Fleur de lis A stylized form, in many varieties, of the lily or iris.
Fleuretty Of a cross, from the ends issuing in fleurs de lis.
Flory (Fleury) With the ends terminating in fleurs de lis. Of a line of partition decorated thus.
Forcene Salient when used of horses.
Forchee (forchy) Forked; a forked tail.
Formy Of a cross made with wide triangular pieces, meeting at the centre.
Fountain A roundle with white and blue wavy lines.
Fraise (Fraze, Frase) A white cinquefoil representing the strawberry flower, from the French, fraise.
Fret Two diagonal strips interlacing a void diamond shape, said to represent the knot of a fishing net.
Fretty Covered with interwoven diagonal lines from both directions.
Fructed Of the fruit a plant or tree, in separate specified colour.
Fusil An elongated diamond shape.
Furs The tinctures in Heraldry that represent fur.
Gamb a paw, usually a lion's or bear's.
Garb A sheaf of wheat or other grain-bearing plant; also applied to arrows or anything else shown in bundles.
Garter, The A blue garter, worn below the knee, bearing the motto, 'Honi soit qui may y pense', 'Evil be to he who evil thinks,' by Knights of the Garter; also displayed around their shields.
Garter, Order of The oldest and senior order of knighthood still existing in England.
Gentleman An untitled person entitled to bear arms.
Glade A spear with serrated inner edges for catching eels and other fish.
Gobony See compony.
Golpe A mulberry-coloured roundle, representing a wound.
Gonfanon A long flag, suspended from the top and hanging vertically having long tails.
Gorged See collared.
Goutte (Gutte) A small, drop-shaped figure of specified tincture, used as a charge.
Goutty Covered with small, drop-shaped figures.
Grady Of a line of partition, stepped.
Grant of Arms A Formal document giving sole rights to a person and his heirs to bear arms, granted by a competent authority.
Griffin (Gryphon) A mythical beast, having the head and wings of an eagle and the body and hind quarters of a lion.
Guardant Of a creature or human, looking out of the shield at the observer.
Gules Of the tinctures of Heraldry, the colour red.
Gunstone A black roundle, also known as a pellate.
Gutty Powdered with or semy of gouttes.
Gyron A wedge-shaped charge, placed in the lower diagonal half of a canton.
Gyrony Of wedge-shaped sections, formed by diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, crossing in the centre.
Habited Of clothes, with a specified colour or type; synonymous with 'vested'.
Hand of Ulster A red hand, palm showing, on a white shield, the badge of a baronet.
Harpy A monster, having a woman's face and body and a bird's wings and claws.
Hart A full-grown red deer stag.
Hatchment A diamond-shaped board with armorial bearings painted for the funeral of the bearer.
Haurient Of a fish, swimming to the top of the shield.
Hawking Favourite sport of the Middle Ages, in which a trained bird of prey was used to catch game.
Heater A shape of shield, resembling a flat iron.
Helm Heraldic term for a helmet.
Horned With horns, in a separate specifield colour.
Humetty Couped.
Hurst A clump of trees.
Hurt An azure roundel
Impalement The practice of placing two, sometimes three, Coats of Arms side by side on the same shield.
Incensed Issuing flames or vapour.
Increscent Of a crescent, facing dexter.
Indented Of a line of partition, having a series of similar indentations or notches.
Inescutcheon A shield when borne as a charge on another shield.
Infula Ribands habging from the back of the papal tiara or a bishop's mitre; derived originally from a long band tied around the head and hanging down the back.
Invected (Invecked) Of a line of partition, having a series of small convex lobes.
Inverted Of a winged creature, with the wings open, the tips downward.
Issuant Of a charge, ehen it comes out of another underneath it, or from off the borders of the shield.
Jessant de lis Of a face, placed before a fleur de lis with the lower part of the fleur thrust out through the mouth.
Jessed Of the jesses trying a bell to a falcon's leg, in a separate specified colour.
Jousting Organized combat between mounted knights for pageantry, display, prowess and training.
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