A Glossary Of Commonly Used Heraldic Terms
efinitions are important in heraldry. While this is by no means a complete list, we feel that it contains most of the terms you will need in order to convey your wishes to us.
The full armorial honors of an armiger, e.g. shield, crest, wreath or torse, helm, mantling, supporters and compartment.
One who is entitled to, or in the US, chooses to bear heraldic arms.
Of or pertaining to heraldry or heraldic arms.
Originally strictly the devices painted on the shield, it now tends to be used more loosely and may refer to the entire achievement.
Specific terms to describe each color, object, and division of the shield.
Any object or figure placed on a heraldic shield or on any other object of an armorial composition. Charges can be animals, objects, or geometric shapes.
The support, often drawn as a grassy mound, on which the supporters stand.
The device which is set upon the helm.
The right side. When applied to a shield it refers to that part which would be towards the right side of the man carrying it, thus the portion on the viewer's left.
The graphical representation of the blazon. That is, it is the actual image created from the blazon (text descripton) of the armorial achievement. There may be many emblazonments for any given blazon.
The shield on which a coat of arms is pictured.
The basic surface on the shield on which the charges are placed. When blazoning, the field is always stated first.
The helmet device that sits directly upon the escutcheon.
Of or pertaining to heralds or heraldry.
The study and art of tracing genealogies, of determining, designing, and granting coats of arms, and of ruling on questions of rank or protocol.
Conventionalized drapery hanging down the back of the helm, from below the crest-wreath, and nowadays usually depicted as carried down on either side of the shield. Sometimes called the Lambrequin.
The basic geometrical charge used in arms, usually divided into the (honourable) ordinaries and the subordinaries. An ordinary of arms is a collection of arms arranged according to the charges therein.
The side of the shield toward the left of the man carrying it, thus to the right when viewed from in front.
The human, natural, or creatures which stand on either side of a shield of arms and support it.
The colors used in heraldry.
An ornamental way of hiding the points where the crest is attached to the helm.