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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 T

Tabard or Tabert. A coat without sleeves, whereon the armorial ensigns were anciently depicted, from whence the term Coat of Arms. The Tabard with wide sleeves reaching to the elbow is now used as a habit of ceremony, being embroidered with the Royal Arms, worn by Heralds and Pursuivants upon great festivals and other public ceremonies. See Tunic.

Tabernacle. Same as Pavilion.

Tadpoles or Powts. Young frogs.

Tail. The tail of the lion, and the tail of a Beaver, are sometimes borne in Coat Armour. The following are the different names for the tails of several animals: that of the Deer = single; the Bear = wreath; the Fox = brush; the Wolf = stern; the Hare and Consy = scut.

Tail Forked. Or Queue Fourché.

Taille. The same as party par band sinister.

Talbot. A hound witn long ears, and of very common use in Coat Armour.

Talent. A bezant.

Talon. Or Claw.

Tanke. A kind of deep round cap, called a cap tanke; it is sometimes represented with strings, to tie under the chin.

Tare or Tarre. Affrontée, or full-faced.

Targant. See Torqued.

Target or Targe. A circular shield.

Tasces, Tasses or Tassetts. That part of the armour which covers the thigh.

Tassel. An ornament of silk or gold fringe, used as an addition to the strings of mantles, etc. Roman Catholic ecclesiastics of high rank are distinguished by tassels pendant from a cord of silk issuing from either side of that which is placed over their shield. These tassels arc arranged in rows, and the number of tassels in each row exceeds by one the number in that above it, so that the whole form an equilateral triangle. A Cardinal has five rows of scarlet tassels pendant from a scarlet hat. Archbishops have a green hat, and four rows of green tassels. Bishops and Prothonotaries of the Pontifical Court, three and two rows respectively of green tassels.

Tasselled. Adorned with tassels.

Tass-Vairy. The same as Potent counter potent.

Tavalures. Ermine spots.

Tawny. Or Tawney. See Tenne.

Teal. A water fowl.

Teazel. The head or seed-vessel of a species of Thistle.

Templars. See Knights Templars.

Tenas. Or, more properly, Tenans. A term applied to inanimate objects on the side of the shield, but not touching it.

Tenant. Holding. A term to express that the shield is held by one man or beast. Supporters, when there are two.

Tench. A fish.

Tenne. The same as Tawny. It is by some heralds called Brusk; and in engraving, it is expressed by diagonal lines drawn from sinister chief points, and traversed by horizontal ones.

Tergant. Or Tergiant. The same as Recursant.

Terras. Or Terrasse. The representation of a piece of ground at the base of the shield, and generally vert.

Terwhitt. A Lapwing.

Teste a la Queve, Quise or Queue. Three fishes, etc., lying one upon the other, so that the head of each is between the other two, may be blazoned two fishes, in saltire, debruised by another in pale, the tail erect. It is also called a Trien of fishes, lying cross, the heads and tails interchangeably posed; it is also termed Testes aux queues, i.e. heads to tails.

Tete. The head.

Tetragonal Pyramids. Piles are generally considered to represent wedges; but they are sometimes borne triangular, and also square, in which latter case they may be termed square piles, or tetragonell pyramids reversed.

Text-Letters. Are borne in several Coats of Arms. See Letters.

Thatch-Rake. An instrument used in thatching.

Thatcher's Hook. Same as Thatch-Rake.

Themis. The Goddess of Justice,

Thigh-Bone. See Shin-Bone.

Thistle. The Badge of Scotland.

Thistle, Order of. See Knighthood.

Thoison. Or Toison d'or. The Golden fleece. See Fleece.

Thong. A strap of leather for fastening anything; also the lash of a scourge.

Three, Two and One. Terms to denote the position of six charges, viz.: Three in chief, two in fesse, and one in base.

Three. Three charges of any kind on a field are always placed two and one, unless otherwise described.

Three-Quartered. Or In train Aspect. Showing three fourths of an animal.

Threstle or Trestle. A hawk's perch.

Throughout. Extending to the sides of the escutcheon.

Thrush. A song bird.

Thunderbolt. The emblem of Jupiter. It is sometimes blazoned Jupiter's Thunderbolt.

Thyrsus. A rod surmounted with a fir-cone, or a bunch of vine leaves or ivy, with grapes or berries, carried by Bacchus, and the Satyrs, Mænads, and others, during the celebration of religious rites. Beneath the garland or fir-cone the Thyrsus ends in the sharp paint of a spear, a puncture from which induces madness.

Tiara. Or Triple Crown. The Papal Crown.

Tierce, Tiercée or Tierced. Divided into three equal parts.

Tiger Heraldic. Is depicted with a hooked talon at the nose, and with tufts.

Tiges and Feuilles. Terms applied to fruits when represented with stalks and leaves.

Tilt. See Tournament.

Tilting Spear. Always depicted, if not named to the contrary, with bur and vamplate. The Bur is a broad ring of iron behind the place made for the hand on the tilting spear; which bur is brought to the rest, when the Tilter charges his spear; serving there to secure and make it easy to direct. The Vamplate is the broad piece of steel that is placed at the lower part of the staff of the spear for covering the hand, and may be taken off at pleasure. It sometimes resembles a funnel in shape.

Tilting Spear Broken. Or Broken Tlting Spear; in blazon, implies the bottom part only.

Timbered. See Anchor.

Timbre. Or Tymbre. According to J. G. Nichols in the Herald, and Genealogist is a "Crest," but C. Boutell, in his Heraldry, Historical and Popular, gives Timbre as the Helm when placed above the shield in an achievement of arms. Heaume and Timbre are also used to express those things that are without the Escouchen to distinguish the Degree of Honour and Dignity, such as Crowns, Coronets, etc. It is taken in particular for the Helmet.

Tinctures. Under this term are included the colours used in Coat Armour, which are divided into three classes. 1st: Metals; Or, the metal gold; and Arjent, Silver, the former is represented in engraving by dots, the later is left quite plain. 2nd: Colours; Gules, expressed in engraving by perpendicular lines. Azure, by horizontal lines from side to side. Sable, by horizontal and perpendicular lines crossing each other. Vert, by diagonal lines from dexter to the sinister. Purpure, by diagonal lines from sinister to dexter. Tenne, by diagonal lines from sinister to dexter, crossed by horizontal lines. Sanguine, by diagonal lines from dexter to sinister, and from sinister to dexter, crossing each other. 3rd: Furs; Which are generally reckoned to be six in number, but some writers have made them amount to eleven. Ermine: A white field, with black tufts. Ermines: A Black field, with white tufts. Erminois: A gold field, with black tints. Pean: A Black field, with gold tufts. Vair: White and Blue, represented by figures of small escutcheons, ranged in lines, so that the base argent is opposite to the top azure. Counter-fair: The same as the above, only the figures of escutcheons are placed base against base, and point against point. Vaire en point: Figures standing exactly one upon another point upon flat. Vaire or Warrie: When the escutcheons forming the Vair are of more than two tinctures. Vaire ancient: Represented by lines nebuly separated by straight lines. Potent: Resembles the head of crutches. Potent, Counter-potent: Also termed Cuppa, or Varry Cuppa. You must observe that it is not usual to place metal on metal, nor colour on colour. There are some exceptions to this rule, but it is considered bad heraldry. Some authors blazon the Arms of Sovereigns by Planets, of Peers by Precious stones, etc. When any beast, bird, or charge is represented in its natural colour, it is blazoned proper, abbreviated ppr.

Tines or Tynes. Antlers upon the horns of a stag. In blazoning, their number, and tincture must be named.

Tipped. When the ends of a truncheon, etc., are of a different tincture from the other part.

Tira. See Tiara.

Tirret. A manacle, or handcuff.

Tirwhit. See Lapwing.

Tityrus. See Musimon.

Toad. A small batrachian reptile.

Tod. A Fox, borne by the name of Todhunter.

Toison d'or. The golden fleece.

Tomahawk. An Indian war-axe, depicted as a Pole-axe.

Tombs. See Monuments.

Tongs. See Closing Tongs.

Tongys. Langued or tongued.

Ton. See Tun.

Topaz. A precious stone, used to express gold in blazoning by precious stones.

Torce. Or Torse. See Wreath.

Torch. A flambeau, or firebrand.

Torgant. See Torqued.

Torn. An ancient name for spinning wheel.

Torqued. Wreathed, bowed-embowed.

Torqued. A Dolphin Haurient is sometimes said to be a Dolphin Torqued.

Torquened. The same as torqued.

Torteau. (plural Torteaux) a red roundle, termed in French cerises, cherries. By some termed Wastell-cake.

Torteys. An old term for Torteaux.

Tortille. Nowed, twisted, or wreathed.

Touchstone. See Flintstone.

Tournaments, Tilts and Justs. These exercises were always performed on horseback, (although the riders when both were dismounted, might continue the combat on foot,) and were called Justs, because they partook of the nature of regular battle, or because the knights directed their horses straight at each other-and Tournaments-from the French "Tourner," because great skill was required in wheeling and handling the charger. Single Knights tilted with each other, but when two parties engaged in a sort of general action it was termed a tournament. The weapons used were lances, swords, maces, and axes. The lances were sometimes sharp, but more usually had a blunted head, called from its peculiar shape a Cronel. Combats fought entirely on foot are by some writers termed tournaments but improperly. They were always judicial combats, fought "en champ clos" with axes and daggers. When any knights wished to distinguish themselves by holding a Tournament they caused notice to be given that they would be ready at such a place to meet all comers in the lists, sometimes even naming how many courses they would run with the lance, and how many strokes exchange with sword or axe. Both those who gave and those who accepted these challenges, appeared armed cap-a-pie, with their Surcoats, Wreaths, Crests, Mantles, Shields, and with their horses Barbed and Caprisoned; their Esquires carrying their pennons of arms before them. A Knight on coming near the barriers, blew a horn in token of defiance, when the attendant Heralds received his name, bearings, and proof of his gentle blood; though these points were not always insisted on. This being settled, the champions charged each other from opposite ends of the lists after having saluted the President of the Tourney and the Ladies, and if either of them was unhorsed, lost his lance, stirrup, helmet, or wounded his opponents horse, he was vanquished; if both parties broke fairly their lances on each other, in the courses which they had agreed to run, they parted on equal terms.

Tourne. Turned towards the sinister.

Tower. A Tower is said to be Masoned when the cement is of a different tincture trom the stones.

Towered or Turretted. Having towers or turrets.

Towre, Pynakelyd and Imbatayled. Old English for tower, roof and embattlements.

Tramels. A kind of shoe. See Brogue.

Trammels. Same as the above.

Trailing-Pike. Or leading staff, tasselled as in the armorial bearings of the Artillery Company, London.

Traits. Pieces.

Tranche. The same as Per Bend.

Trangle. A diminutive of the fesse; by some it is called a bar, by others a closet.

Transfixed. Pierced through.

Transfluent. Applied to water as if running through a bridge.

Transmuted. Counterchanged.

Transparency. Or Transparent. Painted in shadow. See Adumbrated.

Transpierced. The same as Transfixed.

Transposed. Reversed, or turned contraryways.

Transverse, Traverse or Doublet. According to Guillim is a bearing resembling a chevron, which issues from two angles of one side of the shield, and meets in a point about the middle of the other side. It may issue from either side, dexter or sinister, the point should be mentioned in the blazon.

Traverse. Or Transverse. Across the escutcheon horizontally.

Traversed. Facing the sinister.

Traversed. Lying across.

Trecheur. See Tressure.

Tree. Trees in great variety are met with in Coat Armour, e.g. The Alder, Almond, Apple, Aspen, Ash, Banyan, Beech, Birch, Box, Cedar, Cherry, Cocoa, Cotton, Cypress, Date, Elm, Fir, Hawthorn, Linden or Lime, Mahogany, Oak, Olive, Orange, Palm, Pear, Pine, Pollard-Willow, Paradise (Tree of), Poplar, Salix, Savin, Thorn, Walnut, Willow, Yew, etc. In blazoning a tree you must observe in what condition it appears, whether spread, or blasted; and what kind of Tree it is, whether bearing fruit; if so, it is termed fructed. If a part only is borne, that part insist be named as stem, stock, or stump, branches, fruit, leaves. The Stem, Stock, or Stump, must be described, if standing, as "erect" if fallen, as "jacent" if torn up by the roots, as "eradicated" if shooting forth leaves, as "sprouting," etc. A branch with fruit is said to be fructed; if with leaves only, it is termed a branch; when without leaves, it is said to be withered; if torn off, it is called slipped. A branch, if fructed, is always supposed to consist of four leaves. If unfructed of nine leaves, i.e. three slips set together on one stem. A sprig should have five leaves, and a slip only three.

Treflée. A bend treflée, as in the arms of the Prince of Wales. See Rue Crown.

Treflée of trefoils. Semée of Trefoils.

Trefoil. Three leaved grass.

Treille. Or Trillise. A Lattice, or Trellis, a pattern resembling fretty, but always nailed at each intersection; also termed Trellised cloué.

Trenchant. Cutting, or brandishing.

Trenching Knife, as borne by Trenchard. Same as Pruning Knife.

Trepan. A surgical instrument.

Tressure. Or Treschur. The tressure passes round the field in the same shape as the shield. When impaled, it is always to be omitted on the side next the line of impalement. It is always borne double and flory counterflory as in the royal Arms of Scotland. This is sometimes blazoned the Royal Tressure, or the Tressure of Scotland.

Tressure Fleure. Same as Tressure.

Tressure Counter Flowered. Same as Tressure-Counter-Flory.

Trestle, Tressel or Trussel. A three legged stool.

Trevet. Or Trivet. A circular, or triangular frame of iron with three feet.

Trewyt. See Trevet.

Tri-Archee. Triple, or Treble-Arched, having three arches.

Trian Aspect, in. Three quartered. See Aspect Trian.

Triangle, in. Disposed in the form of a triangle.

Triangle, Counter-Triangle, Triangled, or Trianglée. The same as Barry Indented one into the other, or Barry Bendy Lozengy counterchanged.

Triangular Castle. A castle with three towers.

Triangular. Emblem of the Trinity, with the legend.

Triangular Fret. The badge of Tyrell.

Transmuted. Same as Counter-changed.

Transposed. Reversed.

Tricking of Arms, Arms in Trick or Tricked. Terms to denote a concise and easy method used by Herald Painters and Engravers in taking down Arms by Abbreviations.

Tricolore or Tricolour. The emblem of France, of three colours, Blue, White, and Red, and has been successively those of the French Standard for many centuries.

Tricorporate. Three bodies conjoined to one head, as three lions Incorporate, or Tricorporated.

Trident. A three-pronged barbed fork.

Trien. Three.

Trinacred. See Triquetra.

Trinity. This Heraldic device which represents the Holy Trinity in an azure field was the heraldic ensign of the monastery of Grey Friars, called Christ Church, in the city of London. It is also blazoned "TheTriangular Emblem of the Trinity with the legend." The field is generally gu.

Triparted. Parted into three pieces, applicable to the field as well as ordinaries and charges.

Triple, Thrice Repeated. As triple towered.

Triple Crown. See Tiara.

Triple Plume of Feathers. Is composed of three rows, one above the other.

Trippant. Or Tripping. A term applied to beasts of chase, as passant to those of prey.

Trippant Counter, or Counter Trippant. When two animals are walking past each other in opposite directions.

Triquetra, or Trinacria, of Sicily. The ancient symbol of Sicily, as represented on the gold medal for the Victory of Maida.

Tristram, or Truelove Knots. See Knots.

Triton. A Sea God. Triton sometimes, but improperly blazoned Neptune, should be represented blowing a Murex (a shell), the Crest of Sykcs.

Triumphal Crown, or Garland. See Crown Triumphal.

Trivet. A frame of iron with three supports.

Trois. Three.

Trompyts. Or Trompyls. Old English for Trumpets.

Tronconne. Shivered.

Trononne. See Tron-onné.

Tron-onné et Demembree. Cut in pieces, or dismembered, yet the pieces are so placed as to preserve the outline.

Trout. A fish.

Trowel. A tool used by bricklayers.

Trumpet. A wind instrument.

Truncated. See Trunked.

Truncheon. A short staff. See Baton.

Trundle. A quill of gold thread, used by Embroiderers, and borne in the arms of their Company.

Trunk of a Tree. See Stock.

Trunked. When the main stock of a tree is borne of a different tincture from the branches. It is also used in the same sense as Cabossed.

Trussed. A term to express that the wings of birds are closed. It is an unnecessary term, as all birds are always understood to have the wings close to the body, if not otherwise expressed.

Trussel. See Trestle.

Trussing. See Preying.

Tub. See Tun.

Tuberated, Gibbuns, Knotted, or Swelled out. As the middle part of the serpent.

Tuche-stone. See Touchstone.

Tuck. A long narrow sword.

Tudor-Rose. Is the red rose of Lancaster, and the white rose of York, sometimes quarterly of the two tinctures, or the red rose charged with a white one.

Tulip. A flower.

Tuft. A bunch of grass, etc.

Tufted. A term applied to the small bunches of hair on the Heraldic Tiger, Antelope, etc.

Tun. A barrel; if not named to the contrary is depicted in a lying position.

Tunic, Tunique, or Tabard. The surcoat worn by heralds and other officers of Arms distinguished by the general name of Tabard; but the tabard of a King of Arms is properly called a Tunique; that of a Herald, a Placque; and that worn by a Pursuivant, a Coat-of-Arms. All were alike, emblazoned with the Arms of the Sovereign or Noble whom the wearer served, and for this reason a surcoat was also termed Houce des Armes.'

Turbot. A sort of flat fish.

Turkey-cock. A large domestic bird.

Turks Head. See Savage.

Turned up. When a cap or cuff is supposed to be folded back so as to show its lining it is said to be turned up.

Turnip. A plant. The Arms of Dammant are sa, a turnip ppr. a chief or., gutte-de-larmes.

Turquine. Azure.

Turret, A small tower on the top of another.

Turretted, Donjonnée. Applied to a tower or wall having small towers upon it.
See Castle and Tower, towered or turretted.

Turtle-Dove. See Dove.

Tushed. See Tusked.

Tusked, dente. A term used in blazonry, when the tusks of an animal are of a different tincture from its body.

Twisted. Wreathed in various ways, as a serpent targent tail wreathed, or a serpent torqued.

Twisting. The same as Twisted, or Torqued; or turned round anything.

Two and One. When three charges are borne on a field, two in chief, and one in base, they are sometimes blazoned two and one. This disposition of three charges is always so understood, if not ordered otherwise, and therefore it is unnecessary to use the term two and one; but if more than three charges of the same description are borne in a field their position must be named.

Twyfoil, or Dufoil. Two leaved foil, shaped like those of the Trefoil.

Tyger. See Tiger.

Tymbre. See Timbre.

Tynes. A name given to the branches of the horns of stags.In blazoning their number and tincture must be named; a stag's head attired with ten tynes is borne by the family of Gordon.

Trying. Same as Preying.

Tyrwhitt. A Lapwing.



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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.