“B” Terms

BADGE. A distinctive mark worn by servants, retainers, and followers of royalty or nobility, who, being beneath the rank of gentlemen, have no right to armorial bearings. The rose and crown is the badge of the servants, &c., of the Kings of England.

BANDED. Anything tied with a band.

BANNER. The principal standard of a knight. The great banner borne at the funeral of a nobleman contains all the quarterings of his arms: it varies in size according to the rank of the deceased. The banner of the sovereign is five feet square; that of a prince or duke, four feet square; for all noblemen of inferior rank, three feet square.

BANNER ROLL is a small square flag containing a single escutcheon of the deceased. Thus, if there are twelve quarterings in the banner, the same number of banner rolls will be required to be borne in the funeral procession.

BAR. An honourable ordinary, occupying one-fifth of the shield. It may be placed in any part of the field. It has two diminutives, the closet and barrulet.

BARBED. Bearded. It is also applied to roses.

BARON. The lowest title of the peerage of Great Britain.

BARON AND FEMME. Terms used in Heraldry to denote the arms of a man and his wife, marshalled together.

BARRULET. The smallest diminutive of the bar. The closet is half the bar; the barrulet half the closet.

BARRY. A field divided transversely into several equal parts, and consisting of two different tinctures interchangeably disposed.

BATONBATUNEBASTON. It is generally used as an abatement in coats of arms to denote illegitimacy.

BATTERING RAM. An instrument used for battering down walls before gunpowder was known in Europe: it is frequently borne as a charge in a coat of arms.

BATTLE AXE. An ancient military weapon, frequently borne on arms as a mark of prowess.

BATTLEMENTS. Divisions or apertures on the top of castle walls or towers.

BEAKED. The beak of a bird being of a different tint from the body is said to be beaked.

BEAVER. That part of the helmet that defends the sight. [Herald’s Note:  This is a the common definition found in heraldry books, and it is wrong.  The “bavier” or “beaver” in English, is actually the chin guard.  After Eurpean colonization of the New World the small fur-bearing mammal known as the Beaver began to appear on Coats of Arms — symbolizing industrious adventures in the New World.  Becareful of confusion of these two terms.]

BELLED. Having bells.

BEND. One of the honourable ordinaries formed by two diagonal lines drawn from the dexter chief to the sinister base; it generally occupies a fifth part of the shield if uncharged, but if charged one third.

BEND SINISTER. Is the reverse of the bend; it is seldom found in coats of arms, as it is reckoned an abatement.

IN BEND. Figures placed in a slanting direction from the dexter chief to the sinister base are said to be in bend.

BENDLET. A diminutive of the bend, of the same shape, but only half the width of the bend.

BENDY. This word serves to denote a field divided diagonally into several bends, varying in metal and colour.

BESANT, or BEZANT. Gold coin of Byzantium; when they appear in a coat of arms their colour is not described: a besant is always or.

BILLETS. This charge is, by some authors, supposed to represent tiles or bricks; by others that it represents a letter or billet. The name and form of the charge most accords with the latter opinion.

BISHOPS. Church dignitaries: they are barons of the realm, and have precedence next to viscounts: they have the title of lords, and right reverend fathers in God.

BLAZON. To describe in proper colours, or lines representing colours, all that belongs to coats of arms. Arms may also be emblazoned by describing the charges and tinctures of a coat of arms in heraldic terms.

BLUE-MANTEL. A title of one of the pursuivants at arms. See HERALD.

BORDURE or BORDER. This was the most ancient difference in coats of arms, to distinguish different branches of the same family. It is a border round the edge of the shield. Its situation is always the same; but the inner edge may be varied.


BOUJET. An ancient water bucket, frequently borne in shields of arms.

BRACED. Two figures of the same form, interlacing each other.

BRASED and BRAZED are words sometimes used by ancient armorists. They always describe things interlaced or braced together.

BROAD ARROW. An ancient weapon of war, thrown by an engine. It is frequently borne as a charge in coats of arms.

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