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Armorial Gold's Heraldry Dictionary

This heraldry dictionary is based on the works of Elvin (edited by Marvin Beatty) from his original manuscript of 1879. Corrections have been made, and additions from the Armorial Gold Library have been added. You are welcome to use this heraldry dictionary as a reference tool without fee. This is copyrighted material and as such may not be reproduced in "any way" without the expressed written permission of Armorial Gold. Thank You for your Cooperation.
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Heraldry Dictionary Section B

Bachelors Arms. The paternal coat. See Arms of a Bachelor.

Bachelor Knight. See Arms of a Knight Bachelor.

Backgammon Board. Also termed "Playing Tables."

Badelaires. Curved swords, a Cutlass.

Badge. A device, anciently placed on banners, ensigns, caparisons, and liveries; but it fell into disuse in the reign of Queen Elizabeth with the rest of the brilliant relics of the feudal system. The Badge is never placed on a wreath, and the few families who still use it, have it either depicted below the shield; or if they bear two, one is placed on either side of the crest.

Badger or Brock. This often fierce animal, cousin to the wolverine, is a symbol of tenacity, and protection. They protect there young at any cost and have been known to fight off wolves, and even bears. Badgers have powerful forelegs which enable them to dig through the ground easily and swiftly to capture prey such as hares, squirrels and the like. A male badger is called a boar, a female a sow, a young badger a cub, and the collective name for a group of badgers, is a clan. The German word for Badger is Dachs, and the famous dachshunds were originally bred to hunt them in a once popular sport practiced by the nobles of olde. In many cultures, the badger is symbolic of aggression. Although rare in early heraldry, the badger is enjoying somewhat of resurgence in modern heraldry, as enthusiast discover its historical symbolism.

Bagril. See Minnow.

Bagwyn. An imaginary animal.

Baillone. A term to express a lion rampant, holding in the mouth a staff or baton.

Balance. An apparatus for weighing bodies; a beam with two opposite scales. This is usually, though incorrectly, blazoned a pair of Scales, whereas the scales are the two bowls attached to the end of the beam which together with them makes up the Balance and are said to be equally poised.

Balcanifer or Baldakinifer. A standard-bearer of the Knights Templars.

Bald-Coot. A water-fowl.

Bald-Head. See Death's Head.

Baldric or Bauldrick. A belt usually worn over the shoulder. See Baudrick.

Bale. A package of Merchandise.

Bale of Piedmont. Silk.

Balista or Sweep. A machine anciently used for throwing stones.

Ball, Fire or Ball Fired. With fire issuing from the top. If otherwise it must be named, as a Ball fired in four places.

Band. The fillet or bandage by which a sheaf of corn, arrows etc. are bound together.

Bande. The bend dexter.

Bande-en. In bend.

Banded. Anything tied round with a band of a different tincture from itself, is said to be banded, as a Garb, sheaf of arrows, plumes, etc.

Banderole. A streamer tied under the crook of a Pastoral Staff, and folding round the staff.

Banderville or Bannerolle. A diminutive of the banner, used at funerals and generally displays the arms of different families with whom the ancestors of the deceased person were connected by marriage.

Banister-Cross. Consists of four staves, fixed crossways to a plate, each crowned at the ends.

Banner. Is co-eval with the introduction of Heraldry. It is a square flag, and on it are exhibited the owner's arms; gentlemen have a right to display their banners on their mansions, but the common practice, when they exhibit any banner, is to hoist the Union-Jack, which might with quite as much propriety be painted on their carriages. See Ensign, Flag and Standard.

Banner Disveloped. Being open and flying.

Banner Funeral. A small square flag on which the arms are painted, it is fringed and affixed to a staff, or pike.

Banner Great. The Great Banner is that on which all the quarterings of the deceased are painted. The size of the several Banner's were originally as follows; viz. That of an Emperor; six feet square. King; five feet square. Prince or Duke; four feet square. Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron, and Knight-baronet; three feet square.

Banner, the National. The Union Jack.

Banneret. See Knight Banneret.

Bannerolls or Banner-Rolls. Used at the funeral of either a man or woman, are three feet square composed of silk on which are painted the arms.

Bar or Barr. One of the sub-ordinaries containing a fifth of the shield, and may be borne in any part of it. Two or more bars are frequently borne on the same field, as two bar, three bars. The diminutives of the bar are the Closet, which is half the bar, Closets and the Barrulct, which is half the Closet; when these diminutives are placed two and two in a Shield they are called Baragemel. When one or more Barrulets are placed on each side of a Fesse; the Fesse is said to be Cottised. These are all subject to the accidental forms of lines as engrailed, embattled, flory, etc.

Bar-Gate. See Gate.

Bar-Geme, Barr-Gemel, Gemelle or Gemellus Double. Are double bars, or two bars placed near and parallel with each other.

Bar In. When two or more charges are placed horizontally they are said to be In-bar.

Bar, per base or Bar Meire. A term used by some writers to express potent, or potent counter-potent. It is by Randle Home, termed varry cuppy, or cuppa, and verrey tassa.

Bar, per and canton or cantoned. Better per-fesse cantoned. Is the field divided per-fesse and per-canton.

Barde or Barred. Same as Barry.

Bardings. Horse trappings often enriched with Armorial bearings.

Barbed. A term variously applied. Firstly: to the points that stand back in the head of an arrow or fishing-hook, etc. Secondly: to a Cross when its extremities are like the barbed irons used for striking fish. Thirdly: to the five leases of the Heraldic-Rose; which always appear on its outside. Fourthly: sometimes used to express the comb and gills of a cock. Fifthly: to a Horse; when a war-horse is completely accoutred he is termed a Barbed horse, or Steed. Sixthly: to the needles or beard of barley, etc.

Barbel. A fish. Generally depicted embowed.

Barberry. A branch of.

Barded. Caparisoned. The Bardings of the Knightly war-horses were commonly charged with heraldic insignia.

Barded Courser. A War-horse caprisoned.

Barks. Boats.

Barley Ears. Garb of Barley.

Barnacle-Goose or Barnacle-Fowl. A large water-fowl.

Barnacle-Bird. Same as Barnacle-Goose.

Barnacles. An instrument used by Farriers, depicted either extended or closed, they are also termed Horse-Barnacles.

Baron. The lowest rank of the British-Peerage. See Arms of a Baron.

Baroness. The wife of a Baron. She is styled "My Lady" and is "Right Honourable". Her Coronet is the same as her Husband.

Baron and Femme. Husband and wife. The Arms are borne impaled, the husband's on the dexter and the wife's on the sinister. If the woman is an Heiress, or Co-Heiress, her Arms are borne in an Escutcheon of Pretence.

Baronet. The lowest degree of hereditary dignity; rank among themselves according to creation, and follow next to the younger sons of barons, taking precedence of all Knights, except of the Garter. The order was originally instituted by King James I in 1611 for the colonization of Ulster, and the Arms of that province were deemed the most appropriate insignia. They are placed on a canton or in an escutcheon on the paternal coat, in the most convenient spot. When the Shield contains many quartering's, it should be borne in the paternal coat, and not as is frequently the case upon the intersection, or partition of the shield. This does not apply where the Baronet has two surnames, bearing arms for each quarterly; then it ought to be placed on the centre division of the four quarterings.

Baronet's Badge. Is on an escutcheon ar. a sinister hand, erect and apaumée, couped at the wrist gu.

Baron's Coronet. On a gold circle showing four pearls. See Coronet.

Baron's Mantle. See Robe.

Barraly. Same as Barry.

Barre or Barre-Une. A Bend Sinister.

Barre-Waies. See Barwise.

Barrel. A Cask or Tun.

Barrelet, Barrulet, Barrellet, Barrula, or Barrule. A diminutive of the Bar.

Barrelet. Entiled with an annulet.

Barrulette, Barruly or Burely. Same as Barry. Also termed Barruletty, and barruled.

Barry. A term to express the field or charge when equally divided by horizontal lines. These division are composed of two tinctures and their number must be named, e.g. Barry of eight, Barry of ten, etc.

Bars-Gemels. See Bar-Gemel.

Bar-Shot. A bar of iron, having a ball, or shot at each end.

Baruly or Barruled. See Barrulette.

Barwise or Barways. Implies anything placed, in a horizontal line across the field.

Base. The bottom of the shield. When a charge is placed at the bottom of the field, it is termed In Base, and, if not occupying the middle of the base, it must be expressed as being in the dexter or sinister base point.

Base-Bar. A portion of the base of the shield equal in width to a Bar, parted on by a horizontal line.

Base-Esquire. Also termed Base Escuers.

Based or Bas't. A Baste Esquire.

Basilisk. As represented in Heraldry resembles the heraldic wivern, but with the head of a dragon at the end of the tail, and with the comb, wattles, and spurs of a Cock; it is also termed the Amphisien-Cockatrice.

Basinet. A close-fitting steel helmet.

Basket. A vessel made of rushes, twigs or splinters.

Basket or Shruttle. Used for winnowing corn; it is also termed a Fan, or winnowing-basket.

Basnet, Bassinet, Bassenet or Bacinet. An ancient name for a helmet.

Bast. See Based.

Baste, Based, Bast or Baste. A portion of the base of a shield, the same as a plain-point.

Bastile. A double embattlement. See as Battled-Embattled.

Baston or Batume. See Baton.

Bath King of Arms. Is not a member of the Heralds College, but takes precedence next after Garter King of Arms. He has a crown like the other Kings, and a peculiar costume directed by the statutes of the order.

Bath, Order of. See Knighthood, Orders of.

Baton or Batton. A truncheon or leading staff given to Field Marshals, and other high officers, as a token of authority.

Baton Sinister, Baston, Batton, Battoon or Batune. Also termed a Fissure. A mark of illegitimacy, is a diminutive of the bend sinister, being one fourth its breadth. It does not extend from side to side of the shield; and may be borne either plain or charged. The Baton has been adopted since the fifteenth century, in England, to mark the illegitimate descendants of the Royal Family only; before which time no positive rule prevailed, since the more ancient ways of marking illegitimacy were by the Bend, either placing the Father's arms thereon or debruising them by it; the Border was also used as a mark of bastardy.

Battelle or Battelled. See Battled.

Battering-Ram. An instrument used by the ancients to breach walls. It had a metal head like that of a ram, whence its name.

Battled, Embattled or Imbattled. When any of the ordinaries are borne in the form of the battlements of a castle, on one side only.

Battled Arrondee. Signifies that the tops of the battlements should be circular.

Battled-Embattled. One battlement upon another.

Battled-Grady or Embattled-Grady. So termed because it resembles the form of steps.

Battelly. Same as Battled.

Battlements of a Tower. The upper works of a castle or fortification.

Bauceant or Beauseant. A banner of the Knights Templers in the thirteenth century. It was an oblong flag per-fesse. sa. and ar.

Baudrick. A sword belt, passing over the right shoulder and under the left arm.

Bauteroll. See Boteroll.

Bay-At or Standing at Bay. The position of a stag standing in his own defence, with his head downwards.

Bay-Tree. The Laurel-Tree.

Beacon, or Beacon-Fire. From the Saxon becnian, to beckon, or call together, denotes a signal-fire; which was usually lighted on a pole erected on some hill or other eminence.

Beak. See Bird.

Beaked. Birds are termed beaked, when the bills are of a different tincture from the bodies. See Bird.

Beam. A term to express the main horn of a hart, or buck.

Beams or Rays of the Sun. Generally borne issuing from charges, and then termed Radiant, Rayonned, Rayon- nant, or Rayonnée.

Bear. A common bearing in Heraldry as a Bear pass. Muzzled. The Bear is always to be drawn muzzled if not expressed to the contrary. The fore leg of a Bear which is frequently used in Armoury, is called a Game.

Beard. The barbs of an arrow, or pheon, blazoned barbed. See Barbed.

Bearded. A man's head in armoury is always understood to be bearded if not otherwise expressed.

Bearded or Blazing. A term to express the tail of a comet, or blazing star.

Bearded. See Aulned.

Bearing. Any charge may be called a bearing; a coat of arms in general.

Bearings. A term applied to the entire coat of arms with all its appendages.

Beauseant. See Bauceant.

Beautified. See Adorned.

Beauvoir. See Beaver.

Beaver, Visor or Vizor. The part of the helmet which protected the face, and which could be raised or lowered at pleasure.

Beaver. The emblem of industry and perseverance.

Beaver's Tails. Are found as charges in Armoury.

Bebally. Used by old writers for party-per-pale.

Becque. Same as Beak. See Bird.

Bee. Much used in Armoury as the emblem of industry; generally given to those who have raised themselves by industry and perseverance.

Bee-Hive. Generally depicted as surrounded with bees. It is then blazoned, a beehive beset, or replenished with bees diversely volant.

Beech-tree. Frequently met with as a bearing.

Beer-Butt. A large cask.

Beetle. A Maul or Mallet.

Belfry. That part of a building that a bell is hung.

Belic. See Gules.

Belled. A term applied to Hawks, when bells are affixed to their legs, which is generally the case in coat armour.

Bellfroy. Same as Vair.

Bellows. An instrument for propelling air through a tube.

Bells. As borne in armoury are of two kinds. Falcon's bells and Church bells. In blazoning church bells, if the tongues are of a different tincture from the bell itself, the Bell is said to be tongued of such a tincture; or they are sometimes blazoned bells with clappers of such a tincture. The term "Cannoned" is also applied to their tongues.

Belt or Girdle. A strap with a buckle.

Bend. One of the honourable ordinaries, is formed by two parallel diagonal lines, drawn from the dexter chief to the sinister base. It contains one third of the field. If depicted the reverse way, i.e. from sinister chief to dexter base, it is termed a Bend Sinister, which must be so expressed. It may be formed either by straight or crooked lines, in the former case is simply called a Bend. In the latter a Bend Engrailed, Invecked, Indented, etc, according to the form of crooked line which it assumes. The Diminutives of the Bend are the Bendlet, Garter, Cost, and Ribbon; of the Bend Sinister the Scarpe and Batton.

Bende or Bendys. The old way of spelling bend and bends.

Bending or Rebending. The same as Bowed, or Embowed.

Bendlet or Bendil. A diminutive of the bend.

Bendwise, Bendways or In Bend. A term to express the position of charges when placed obliquely, resembling a bend either dexter or sinister.

Bendy. Is when the field is equally divided bendways and may be of any number of parts. 

Bendys. See Bende.

Beque or Beaked. A bird is termed beaked, when its bill is of a different tincture from the body.

Berly. An ancient term for Barry.

Besanty. See Bezantee.

Besaunte. A bezant.

Beset. Surrounded. eg - a bee hive beset with bees diversely volant.

Between. A term applied to the principal charge occupying a central position as a cross between four roses.

Bevelded. See Beviled.

Bever or vizor. See Beaver.

Bevil, Bevel or Bevile. Is a line cut off in its straightness and is termed angled and beviled.

Bevy. A term used to express a company or number of Roses, etc., same as a cluster or bunch.

Bezant, Besant or Besaunte. A round flat piece of gold, which was the current coin of Byzantium. Supposed to have been first introduced into coat armour at the time of the Crusades. It is sometimes called a "Talent," the emblem of Justice, and equal dealing among men.

Bezantee, Bezantie or Bezanty. The field, or any charge is said to be bezantee when indiscriminately strewed over with Bezants. Also expressed by the term Semée of Bezants.

Bezantlier. The second branch from the main-beam, next above the bow-antler of a buck, etc.

Bible. See Book.

Bicapitated or Bicapited. Having two heads.

Bicorporated. Having two bodies.

Big-Wheat. See Wheat.

Bill-Forest. A wood bill.

Bill-Stone. See Wedge.

Billet. An oblong square with a flat surface. As to what they represent there is a great diversity of opinion; some consider they represent bricks, others billets-doux.

Billets. Also termed Billete and Billety, represents the Shield, Charge, Crest, or Supporter, as strewed all over with billets.

Billetty or Counter Billettee. Is a field divided per-pale and per-fesse. The same as Barry Paly.

Billing. Two birds billing, or respecting.

Biparted. Cut off, so as to leave one angular depression, shewing two projecting pieces and different to erased which shows three jagged pieces.

Bird-Bolt. A short thick arrow without a point, and spreading at the extremity so much as to leave a flat surface; it has sometimes two heads which must be named.

Birds. Of various kinds are met with in armorial bearings. In blazon, birds of prey whose weapons are their beak and talons, are blazoned armed of such a tincture. But such birds as Swans, Ducks, Herons, etc., who have no talons, in blazoning are said to be beaked and membered, which last term signifies the legs; and when the wings of a bird are of a different tincture from the body, it is said to be winged of such a tincture. 

Bird's Legs. See Legs.

Birt. Same as Turbot.

Bishops impale their own Arms with the Arms of their See, the latter being placed on the dexter.

Bison. A species of the ox.

Bisse. A Snake.

Bistouri or Bistoury. A surgical instrument.

Bitted. As a horse's head bitted and bridled.

Bittern. A bird.

Bl. Abbreviation for Blue. i.e. azure.

Blackbird. Frequently found in Coat Armour.

Black. Sable. See Tinctures. In engraving is represented by perpendicular and horizontal lines crossing each other.

Blade. Applied to the stalk of grain or corn when of a different tincture from the ear, or fruit, when it is termed "Bladed."

Blades. Are frequently borne without their handles, when their special kind must be named. The Blade expresses the steel part of any cutting' instrument when of a different tincture to the handle.

Blanch-Lyon. Anciently, the title of one of the Pursuivants at arms.

Blasted. Leafless, applied to Trees, same as blighted.

Blazon or Blason. A term generally applied to the knowledge and description of armorial bearings according to the rules of Heraldry. In blazoning a Coat of Arms, i.e. describing it, the Field is always first mentioned noticing the lines wherewith it is divided, and the differences of these lines, whether they be straight or crooked. Then proceed to the charge nearest the centre, and name those charges last which are furthest from the field, i.e. the charges upon the Ordinaries. The principal Ordinary in the coat (with the exception of the Chief) must be named next to the field. If the Ordinary itself is charged, such charge to be blazoned next to those between which the Ordinary is placed. If there is no Ordinary in the arms the central charge is to be first named after the field, then the charge, if any, on the central charge, then the Border; next the Chief or Canton with its charges. When a bearing is described without naming the point of the Escutcheon where it is to be placed, the centre is always understood; the same is also observed in respect to the charges upon Ordinaries, or one charge upon another. When there are three charges with or without Ordinary they are borne two in chief and one in base; but if they are not so placed, or, exceed three, their position must be named. In Blazoning a coat, repetition of the same word must be avoided, as for example, it would be incorrect to describe the following coat thus; Sa. on a fesse ar. betw. three lions; heads erased ar. three mullets sa. It should be sa. on a fesse betw. three lions' heads erased ar. "as many" mullets "of the first," or "of the field." Of the first, or of the field, is used to prevent repetition of sa. The following rule is now observed by the Heralds, never to place colour on colour, or metal upon metal; and although a few instances of departure from this rule might be produced in some very ancient coats, (Carson, Bissett, Lloyd, White, etc.) yet these exceptions do not destroy the rule. In Blazoning roundles, or guttée drops, you are not to say a roundle or guttée of such tincture (unless it be party coloured or connterchanged) for their names vary according to the different tinctures of which they are composed; so that a roundle which is of Gold, is not blazoned a roundle or.,but a Bezant, and a guttée drop red, is not to be blazoned a gutée gu., but guttée de sang. When roundles and guttée are borne upon a party coloured field and are of the alternate tinctures, they are blazoned roundles or guttée counterchanged, eg. Quarterly ar. and sa. six roundles 3, 2, and 1, counter-changed. A high bonnet, or cap, per pale sa. and ar., banded gu., the cap guttée counterchanged. In Blazoning animals, a distinction must be particularly observed as to the kind of animal to which the term is to bo applied, eg. The terms Rampant, Saliant, Passant, Couchant, are properly applied to Lions, Tigers, etc. But for Deer the same attitudes are expressed, the first two by the term Springing, the other two by the terms Tripping, and Lodged; and a Lion standing full-faced is termed Guardant, but a Stag would be termed at Gaze. Respecting the blazoning of Men, Animals, Birds, Fish, Trees, etc. see each under its respective term. After Blazoning the Shield, you proceed to the exterior ornaments viz.: The Helmet, Lambrequin, Crest, Supporters, Badge, and Motto.

Blazoner. One skilled in Blazonry.

Blazonry. The art of properly describing Coat Armour. See Blazon.

Blemished or Rebated. When a charge or bearing is broken, as a Spur-rowel with its points broken.

Bliaus. See Surcoat.

Block. A Billet, Delf, or Dice so named by Papworth.

Blodius. Same as Gules.

Blood-Colour. Sanguine.

Bloody. Is used by early Heralds to signify Gules.

Bloom, Blown or Blossom. Flowers, Shrubs, and Plants when bearing blossoms in their proper colours, are blazoned, Bloomed, Flowered, or Blossomed.

Bludgeon. A club.

Blus. Same as Azure.

Blur-Bell. See Bellflowers.

Blus-Bottle. A Flower.

Blue Ensign. See Ensign.

Blue-Mantle. A title of one of the Pursuivants of Arms.

Blunted or Rounded. A cross so termed.

Boar. Also termed a Sanglier; always understood to mean a Wild Boar. When said to be Bristled, expresses the hair on the neck and back; Armed, the tusks; Unguled, the hoofs.

Boards. See Playing Tables.

Boats. Boats of various descriptions are met with in Heraldry.

Bock. A kind of Deer.

Bodkin. A Tailors bodkin.

Body-Heart. See Heart.

Boiling-Pot. See Flesh-Pot.

Bole or Head. The seed pods of a plant as a Poppy-bole.

Bolt. An arrow.

Bolt. A door bolt.

Bolt-Hedys. An ancient term for a bull's-head.

Bolt-Prisoners. See Shackbolt.

Boltant or Bolting. A term applied to hares and rabbits, when springing forward.

Bones. Of various kinds are found in armoury; Shinbones are also termed Shankbone.

Bonfire. Called by Guillim "Firebrands Flamant and Scintillant ppr."

Bonnet. The cap of velvet within a Coronet.

Books. Are variously borne in Coat Armour. e.g. A book expanded, or open, a book closed, garnished and clasped.

Book-Plates Heraldic. A label on which the Armorial Bearings, name etc. are displayed.

Boot. A covering for the foot and leg.

Border or Bordure. A Subordinary which surrounds the field, is of equal breadth, and takes up one fifth part of it, and is generally assumed, or granted as a difference; charged border's may allude to maternal descent, when borne Componée to illegitimacy. If a coat containing a Border, is impaled with another coat, it extends only to the line of impalement. If a Border is charged with bezants, plates, billets, or pellets, it is termed a Bordure Bezantée, Platée, Billetée, and Pellettée; all other charges must be named with their tinctures. When a border is plain it is thus blazoned; Sa. a bordure ar. The Border is subject to all the different forms of lines belonging to the Ordinaries.

Bordered or Bordured. Edged with another tincture.

Bordure. Same as Border.

Bordure or Berder. The old way of spelling bordure.

Bore. See Boar.

Boschas. A wild duck.

Boteroll, Botteroll, Bauteroll or Crampit. The steel mounting at the bottom of the scabbard.

Botoned. That which has at its extremities round knots or buds like the trefoil.

Bottle, Blue. See Blue-Bottle.

Bouchiers-Knot. Is a knot of silk.

Bouckys. The ancient orthography for bucks.

Bouget. See Water-Bouget.

Boujon. An arrow with a broad head.

Boult. See Bolt.

Bourdure. See Border.

Bouse. See Water-Bouget.

Bow. Bows are of various descriptions, and in blazon must be named, as an Archers, String-bow, or Long-bow; it must also be expressed whether they are bent, or unbent. If charged with an arrow and bent, they are blazoned as, a bow and arrow in full draught, also termed a drawn bow. When the string is of a different colour, the bow is said to be stringed, or strung. See Arbaleste.

Bowed or Embowed. Bent like a bow, or otherwise curved or curled. See Embowed.

Bowen's Knot. A Knot of silk tied.

Bowget. See Water-Bouget.

Bowl. A deep dish; thereon a Boar's head couped.

Boy. A naked boy is borne by several families.

Braced. The same as Interlaced.

Bracelet. An ornament for the arms. The barrulet is by some writers termed a bracelet.

Bracket. See Rest.

Bramble-Wreath. A crown of Thorns.

Branch. A branch if fructed, should consist of four leaves; if unfructed, of nine.

Branched. Spread like branches.

Brand or Fire-Brand. This is also called a Billet Raguled and Trunked Inflamed on the top.

Brassarts or Brassets. Armour for the elbow. See Garde-de-bras.

Brased or Brazed. See Braced.

Brasier. A utensil to hold live coals.

Brasses, Sepulchral monumental plates anciently called latten, often found in churches, and represent in their outline, or by engraving upon them the figure, and armorial bearings of the deceased.

Brassets, Vambraces or Avantbraces. Pieces of armour for the arms. See Vambraced.

Breast-Plate. See Cuirass.

Breathing. A term applied to a stag at gaze.

Brectesches. Parapets, or battlements.

Bret. See Brit.

Bretesse, Bretessed, Brettessed or Brettessee.A term used when a charge has battlements on each side, directly opposite each other.

Brettepee. The same as Bretesse.

Breys. See Barnacles.

Brick or Brique. Similar to the billet but showing its thickness in perspective.

Bridled. Having a bridle on; as a horse's head bridled.

Bridge. Bridges in coat armour are of various forms, with one, two, or three arches, in blazon the number must be named, as a bridge of three arches, &c.

Brigandine. See Habergeon.

Brill. A fish.

Brimsey. The same as Gad-bee.

Brinded or Breended. Spotted. Applied only to animals.

Brindled. Same as Brinded.

Brise or Brisee. Broken.

Bristled. A term to express the hair on the neck and back of a boar, when of a different tincture from the body.

Brisure, Brizure or Brisures. Equivalent to the term Difference in marks of Cadency.

Brit, Bret or Burt. A fish of the herring kind.

Broad-Arrow. Similar to the Pheon, but having the insides of the barbs plain. It was the regal badge of Richard I.

Broach or Broche. An instrument used by embroiders.

Brochant sur le tout. When one charge rests upon any other.

Brock. See Badger.

Brocket. A young stag so blazoned in the arms of Hanney.

Brogue or Irish-Brogue. A kind of shoe.

Bronchant. A term used by some authors to denote the situation of any beast, when placed on a field strewed with fleur-de-lis; by others it is considered equivalent to "over-all."

Broom-Plant. See Planta-Genista.

Brow-Antler or Browantlier. The first branch of the horn of a buck.

Browsing. The mode of eating of a Graminivorous animal.

Bruised. The same as Debruised.

Brumsey. A Gad-Fly.

Brusk. The same as Tenne.

Bubble or Water-Bubbles. Borne by the name of Aire, and Bubbleward.

Buck. See Stag.

Bucket. Is variously depicted.

Buckle. Also termed Fermaile, or Femaille. The emblem of Fidelity and Firmness. In Armoury these are of various shapes; In blazoning them this must be named. e.g. A lozengy-buckle tongue-fessways; an oval-buckle and round-buckle tongue pendent; a mail, or square buckle; a buckle of an heart shape tongue pendent, a round-buckle tongue erect, and a belt-buckle.

Buckled. When a belt, band, or collar, etc. is depicted as fastened with a buckle, it is said to be buckled, as a garter-buckled.

Buckler, Target, Targe or Shield. A piece of defensive armour, is depicted in various shapes.

Bud. Flowers in the bud, or budding, occur in arms.

Budget. See Water-Bouget.

Buffalo. A wild ox. In old blazon, Bulls heads are frequently termed Buffaloes heads.

Bugle-Horn or Hunting-Horn. Also termed Hanchet. The garnishing consists of verolls round the horn, and is sometimes termed verolled, when there is no string it is sometimes blazoned a Buglehorn sans strings.

Bull. Of very frequent use in Armoury.

Bull-Finch. A singing-bird.

Bull, Winged. Also termed a Flying Bull.

Bullet. The same as Pellet, and Ogress. Termed by ancient heralds, Gunstones; they are sometimes blazoned Copper-cakes as in the arms of Chambers, I think when so blazoned ought to be painted Copper-colour.

Bullrush. An aquatic plant.

Bunch or Cluster. Fruits, flowers, etc. are frequently borne in bunches, or clusters.

Buoy. A floating body employed to point out the particular situation of anything under water.

Bur or Burr. A broad ring of iron behind the place made for the hand on the tilting spear.

Burdon. A Pilgrim's staff.

Burelle. A term to express Barry.

Burgandine. See Habergeon. 

Burganet or Burgonet. A steel cap or helmet.

Burling-Iron. An instrument used by Weavers.

Burning-Bush. Also called Moses' bush and a Flaming-bush.

Burr. A rough prickly covering of the seed of certain plants. A Burr proper as borne by the name of Jason. 

Burst. Split or open. Also termed disjointed, fracted, or severed.

Brush also Brush of a Fox. The tail.

Buskins or Gamashes. A kind of hose, or stocking, either laced, buttoned, or buckled; they reach from half way up the leg, to the instep. See also Greave.

Bust. The head to the breast.

Bustard. A bird.

Butt. A fish.

Butt. See Barrel.

Butterfly. As in the arms of Beeston, Butterneld, Door, Foster, Papillion, etc.

Butteris. An instrument used by Farriers.

Buttoned. Ornamented buckles in armoury are said to be buttoned, garnished, or studded.

Buzzard. In heraldry, the same as a Kite.


Heraldry Art by Armorial Gold

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The Heraldry Dictionary by Armorial Gold Heraldry Services is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. The Heraldry Dictionary and the information contained therein, has been researched through original manuscripts and Armorial Gold’s own sources.  Reproduction in any form is prohibited. All rights reserved.