SCA Inc. College of Arms Glossary of Terms, December 23, 2003


As Used By The College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Revised: December 23, 2003

Quick Links: Reserved regalia - Reserved charges - Restricted charges - Proper colorings - Default postures

The purpose of this Glossary is not to define the many heraldic terms which may be found in any basic or general heraldic text. For such terms, we commend to you works such as J.P. Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet or James Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry. Our purpose here is to help define or explain some of the terms more or less specific to the Society or terms which may differ somewhat from non-S.C.A. usage.

A person who has been awarded the right to arms. Arms in the Society can only be given by the Crown of a kingdom, and come in three levels: Awards of Arms, Grants of Arms, and Patents of Arms (or Letters Patent). A person with registered personal armory who is not an armiger has a device, but only armigers have arms.
(1) Adjective. Of or related to armory. (2) Noun. A list of armory organized by the bearers' names. See also Ordinary.
Armorial Element.
A component of heraldic design. An armorial element may be a charge, a line of division, a line of partition, a field treatment, a tincture, or other component that may be used in designing armory. See the Rules for Submissions, Part VII, for discussion of Compatible Armorial Elements.
Any design that the College of Arms registers or protects, including devices/arms and badges. This includes various important non-SCA armory from the real world and may also include trademarks, logos, and other graphic symbols that resemble heraldic bearings. See the Administrative Handbook, Parts II and III, for a discussion of Registerable and Protected Items.
In the SCA, people who have been awarded arms by the Crown of a kingdom may call their heraldic device "arms." The distinction between arms and a device is not tracked by the College of Arms. See also Armiger, Device.
The placement of charges in a group relative to the other charges in the group. For example, the arrangement three roundels two and one is different than the arrangement three roundels in fess. Arrangement is sometimes confused with location, and sometimes with orientation. See also Location, Orientation.
Augmentation of Arms.
(Also, Augmentation) An honor added to a registered device. First, the Crown of a kingdom must give the recipient of the augmentation the right to add a charge or charges to a registered device as an honor, then the honor must be registered with the College of Arms. An augmentation is not registered as a change of armory; instead, both the underlying arms and the arms with augmentation are protected. Therefore, the underlying armory can be changed while keeping the augmentation the same (assuming no style problems result). Augmentations are usually registered by the College of Arms in the form "[Blazon of device], and as an augmentation, [blazon of augmentation]".
A piece of armory used by an individual or group to identify possessions, retainers, members, or other items. A badge is different from a device, which is used solely by its owner (or the owner's herald). See also Fieldless Armory.
The state of having charges distributed evenly or in accordance with period heraldic rules. Balance is not the same as symmetry. As a general rule, if all the charges are on one side of the shield, the design is considered unbalanced. However, period sensibilities for balance are not always obvious to the modern eye, and period heraldic designs should be consulted before making any categorical statements about balance. By looking at period designs, we find that Azure, in chief three escallops Or is balanced, but Azure, to dexter three escallops in pale Or is less balanced. Likewise, we find that Quarterly gules and argent, in dexter chief a mullet argent is balanced, but Quarterly gules and argent, in dexter base a mullet argent is not balanced.
The verbal or written description of a piece of armory.
An official chapter of the Society.
The part of a personal name other than the given name. Byname is a broad term that includes hereditary surnames, patronymics, locatives, occupational descriptions and epithets. See also Given Name, Hereditary Surname, Locative Byname, Matronymic, Occupational Byname, Patronymic.
The method of modifying armory to indicate a relationship with the owner of the original armory. Changes that were made to distinguish one device from another can be considered the smallest changes that were considered significant enough to be noticed at the time they were used. These changes are called cadency steps. Some changes to heraldry may not indicate cadency but may still be blazonable. Such changes include artistic variants of charges such as the tincture of a horse's mane, or the choice between a cross bottony and a cross crosslet. Systems of cadency vary depending on the time and place.
Change, Major.
See Major Change.
Change, Minor.
See Minor Change.
An item placed on a piece of armory. A charge may be directly on the field, overall, or entirely on another charge. A charge may be a simple geometric figure, such as a fess or a roundel, or a representation of an animate or inanimate item, such as a lion or a sword. See the Rules for Submissions, Part VII, for discussion of Compatible Charges. See also Charge Group.
Charge Group.
A set of charges used together in a design as a single unit. The charges in groups in heraldry usually fall into standard arrangements depending on their number and what other items are involved in the design. A collection of charges that are arranged in such a standard arrangement are considered a single group, even if they are of different types and/or tinctures. For example, Per fess argent and gules, two towers sable and a roundel argent contains a single group of primary charges in the standard charge arrangement of two and one. See also Peripheral Charge Group, Primary Charge Group, Secondary Charge Group, Slot Machine Heraldry, and Tertiary Charge Group.
Charge Type.
See Type, Charge.
Said of an armorial design in which all the elements work together to produce a single effect. Usually, a field division or the primary charge establishes a pattern of arranging items on the field. Coherence is diminished by placing elements with no relation to each other, or ignoring the pattern set in the design. Coherence is also diminished by using unlike charges in a group.
College of Arms.
The Sovereign(s) of Arms, the warranted heralds on Laurel staff, the Principal Herald of each kingdom, and such other persons as Laurel may deem to be of assistance.
College of Heralds.
The Principal Herald of a kingdom, the warranted heralds and pursuivants of a kingdom, and such other persons as the Principal Herald may deem to be of assistance.
In Society heraldry, the colors are azure, gules, sable, purpure and vert. The furs that use colors as underlying tinctures, such as counter‑ermine and pean, are treated like colors for contrast. See also Metal, Tincture.
In keeping with the normal usages for the period and domain of the Society. Guidelines on compatible names are given in Parts II and III, and guidelines for compatible armory are given in Parts VII and VIII of the Rules for Submissions. See also Domain of the Society, Period, SCA-Compatible.
Complexity Count.
A measure of armorial simplicity described in Part VIII.1 of the Rules for Submission. The Complexity Count is the sum of the number of types of charges and the number of tinctures in an armorial design. Armory with an excessively high complexity count may be returned. However, armorial designs which are period in style may be registered even if they have a high Complexity Count.
A submission which is too similar to a protected item is said to be in conflict. The Rules for Submission define name conflict in Part V and armory conflict in Part X.
A level of visual distinction between different tinctures. The Rules for Submissions Part VIII, Section 2.a. define good contrast.
Often used as an adjective meaning "standard, not needing to be blazoned," it may be applied to arrangement, orientation, or posture. See Table 5, Conventional SCA Default Postures for a list of established defaults. See also Proper.
The word used in a non-personal name to define the type of non-personal name. Designators may be the types of official branches, such as Barony, Shire, Kingdom, etc., or they may be other kinds of designations such as Order, Guild, House, Office, Pursuivant and so forth. Designators do not contribute to difference between non-personal names.
A heraldic design that uniquely represents the person or group that owns it. A person who has not been awarded arms may register personal armory as a device. This device will become arms when the person receives an award, grant, or patent of arms. The distinction between arms and a device is not tracked by the College of Arms. See also Armiger, Arms.
Difference, Clear.
(Also known as a CD.) In armory, a difference of type, number, tincture, arrangement, or posture that has been deemed equivalent in importance to a cadency step. Clear difference in armory is more fully defined in Part X.4. of the Rules for Submissions. See also Cadency, Conflict, Difference, Significant.
Difference, Significant.
(1) In armory, a level of difference which would have been considered by heralds in period to be a cadency step; in most cases, this is a sufficient amount of difference to grant a clear difference. A significant difference is a lesser level of difference of charge type from substantial difference. For example, a pine tree is significantly different from an oak tree (because they have widely differing shapes), but they are not substantially different from each other (because they are both trees). In precedent, a ruling that a change is a significant difference (or CD) should not necessarily be taken to indicate that the change is not a substantial difference. (2) In names, two name phrases are significantly different if they are readily distinguishable both in sound and appearance. Significant difference in names is more fully defined in Part V of the Rules for Submissions, while significant difference in armory is more fully defined in Part X of the Rules for Submissions. See also Cadency; Difference, Clear; Difference, Substantial.
Difference, Substantial.
In armory, a level of difference which would have been considered by heralds in period to be more than a cadency step; this is a sufficient amount of difference to apply Rules for Submissions X.2, X.4.a.ii, or X.4.j.ii. For example, a lion is substantially different from a sun. In precedent, a ruling that a change is a Significant Difference (or CD) should not necessarily be taken to indicate that the change is not a Substantial Difference. See also Cadency; Difference, Significant.
(1) In names, a name that is derived from another name as a shortened or pet form. Belet, Bibby, Ibbe, Ibbet, Libbe, and Tibota were all period diminutives of Isabel. Some diminutives are actually longer than the original name. For example Jobin is a period diminutive of Job and Josekyn a period diminutive of Joss. (2) In armory, multiple and (usually) narrower variants of an ordinary are said to be diminutives of it. For example, two bars are diminutives of a fess, and two bendlets are diminutives of a bend. SCA armory does not use single diminutives of charges, as they were considered artistic variants of the single ordinary in period.
Found in a source that was created before 1600 A.D. More recent sources that quote sources created before 1600 are acceptable as documentation unless they are shown to be erroneous. See also Domain of the Society, Gray Area, Period.
Domain of the Society.
Europe and areas that were in contact with Europe before 1600 A.D. See also Documented, Gray Area, Period.
A design arrangement which gives an impression of motion or activity. This can happen by posing charges so that their apparent weight is not over their bases, such as in a depiction of a running man who is leaning forward so that his weight does not appear to be firmly supported by his feet. It can also happen if charges are unevenly spaced to give an impression of motion from one to the next. Dynamic is the opposite of static. In general, dynamic designs are not typical of period heraldry. See also Static.
See Name Element, Armorial Element.
The drawing or graphic depiction of a piece of armory.
A byname that describes physical or mental characteristics, personality traits, or characteristic behavior. Little John, Ethelred the Unready, and Richard Gotobedde are all examples of names with epithets. The terms nickname and descriptive byname are also sometimes used.
Ermined Tinctures.
These are heraldic furs. There are many possible varieties of these, all based on the design of strewn ermine spots (abstract designs representing ermine tails). The most common are ermine (argent with sable ermine spots), counter-ermine (sable with argent ermine spots; also known as ermines, a term that is not used in the SCA due to the possibility of typographic errors), erminois (Or with sable ermine spots) and pean (sable with Or ermine spots). Other combinations do not have unique names and must be explicitly blazoned as <tincture> ermined <tincture>, e.g., gules ermined argent (gules strewn with argent ermine spots). Unlike other designs featuring strewn charges, the ermine variants are furs and are classed as separate tinctures in their own right, rather than as charged fields. However the ermine spots have the same constraints as charges for purposes of contrast under RfS VIII.2, in that they must have good contrast with the tincture on which they are placed. Azure ermined gules does not have acceptable contrast. For contrast purposes, these furs are classed either as colors or metals according to their underlying tincture (so ermine is classed as a metal, and pean is classed as a color). Ermine spots can also be used as normal charges; if not in a strewn arrangement they are treated no differently from any other charges. See also Field Treatment, Furs, Semy, Tincture.
Field Primary Armory.
Armory that has no charges, or an uncharged peripheral ordinary. RfS X.4.a.ii defines special conflict rules for this type of armory. See also Charge, Peripheral Charge Group.
Field Treatment.
A repeating pattern drawn in a tincture with good contrast over the field or a charge. Field treatments leave more of the underlying tincture showing than they cover. They are considered a part of the field or charge tincture. The term field treatment is not a standard real-world heraldic description for a class of armorial designs, but is the SCA catch-all term for the few period heraldic designs meeting this description. Field treatments include masoned and the forms of papellony and scaly which are drawn as voided scales. Field treatments do not include the ermined furs, fretty or strewn charges. See also Ermined Tinctures, Semy.
Fieldless Armory.
A badge with no specified field tincture; such badges may be displayed on any appropriate background. Badges without fields should be designed as a single unit, with the charges all connected in some way as if they were cast out of metal in a mold. Devices may not be fieldless. See also: Badge.
Outlining a charge in a contrasting tincture. In general, a simple geometric charge such as a pale, roundel, or heart may be fimbriated, while a charge with a more complex outline such as a lion cannot. Fimbriation is only allowed for charges in the center of the field. See also Voidable Charge.
In Society heraldry, the furs include ermine, counter-ermine, erminois, pean, vair, potent, and their variants. The furs also include the variants of scaly and papellony which consist of solid-tinctured scales of two alternating tinctures. Furs composed equally of a metal and a color (e.g. vair) are considered neutral for contrast purposes. Furs that use a metal as the underlying tincture (e.g. ermine) are treated as metals for contrast. Furs that use a color as the underlying tincture (e.g. pean) are treated as colors for contrast purposes. See also Ermined Tinctures, Tincture.
Given Name.
The name given to a person at birth or in a naming ceremony such as baptism. In the English naming tradition, the given name is usually a person's first name, so Francis Drake's given name is Francis. See also Byname.
Grandfather Clause.
The popular name given to the guarantee in Corpora that, once registered, a name or piece of armory remains registered unless the owner requests its release, regardless of changes in the Rules for Submissions and standards applied to submissions after that time. The term Grandfather Clause is also sometimes applied to the provisions that allow a submitter to use elements that they have previously registered in new name or armory submissions, even if those elements are no longer acceptable under the current Rules for Submissions. On a case by case basis, this allowance has been extended to the submitter's immediate legal family. These provisions are stated in Rules for Submissions II.5. and VII.8; a sample letter documenting the right to extend the Grandfather Clause can be found in the Cover Letter for the October 2002 LoAR.
Gray Area.
For the purposes of documenting names and armory, anything that can be documented as late as 1650 may be considered acceptable, even though the official cut-off date of the SCA's domain as defined in Corpora is 1600. The period from 1601 to 1650 is known as the "gray area," and exists because it is logical to assume that something current in the period 1601-1650 may also have been current in the last years of the 16th Century, so long as there is no specific evidence to the contrary. Gray area documentation should only be used as a last resort. See also Documented, Domain of the Society, Period.
A collection of people, not necessarily an official branch. Households, orders, and branches are all referred to as groups in the Rules for Submissions.
Group, Charge.
See Charge Group.

Many of the Rules for Submission concerning armorial difference discuss change to half a charge group. For the purposes of counting armorial difference, half is usually defined in the mathematical sense. However, in certain circumstances, half may be defined differently, as indicated by precedent. Some of these circumstances are:

  • The bottommost of three charges arranged two and one, either alone on the field or surrounding a central ordinary such as a fess or chevron, is defined as half of that charge group. However, no more than one difference may be obtained by making changes to that bottommost charge.

  • The two portions of a field divided per chevron or per chevron inverted are each considered half for determining difference of the field.

Hardship Clause.
It sometimes happens that a submission is delayed so long by circumstances outside the submitter's control that changes in the Rules for Submissions or their interpretation make it unregisterable. Depending on the exact circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, the submission may be judged according to the older Rules for Submissions and interpretations; this policy is popularly known as the Hardship Clause.
When used with a capital H, Herald is a title referring to a person at a particular level in the College of Arms. Used with a small h, a herald is a person who works regularly on some aspect of heraldry.
Hereditary Surname.
A byname passed to all the offspring in a family, and therefore also called a family name. Modern English surnames usually come last, so Francis Drake's surname is Drake. Other cultures may place their hereditary surnames in other positions in the name. The alternate term "Inherited Surname" is also used to refer to this type of byname. Hereditary surnames are often called simply surnames, but this usage is ambiguous and should be avoided. See also Byname.
Important Non-SCA Names and Armory.
Real-world names and armory that Laurel has designated important enough to protect. The standards for what is sufficiently important are found in the Administrative Handbook, Parts III.A&B. See also Protected Armory.
The Laurel Sovereign of Arms, who is the principal heraldic officer of the Society and the head of the College of Arms. Laurel is ultimately responsible for seeing that the duties of the heralds, as defined in Corpora, are fulfilled.
Legal Name.
This term is used to distinguish the formal name a person has outside the Society from his or her Society name.
Legal Name Allowance.
The popular name given to the rule that allows submitters to use elements of their legal names in appropriate locations in a Society name. The details are given in Section II.4 of the Rules for Submission.
Letter of Acceptances and Returns.
A monthly letter in which the Laurel Sovereign of Arms publicizes decisions on recent submissions. This is usually abbreviated LoAR. The LoARs are available by subscription from the Laurel office as well as online.
Letter of Comment.
A letter written by a member of the College of Arms to discuss current submissions and advise the Sovereign(s) of Arms on the acceptability of the names and armory that are being considered. This is usually abbreviated LoC. In kingdoms which have an internal submissions process using internal Letters of Intent, the Letter of Comment written at the Society level for the College of Arms is often termed an External Letter of Comment (abbreviated ELoC or XLoC) and the Letter of Comment written for use within the Kingdom is termed an Internal Letter of Comment (abbreviated ILoC).
Letter of Intent.
A letter written by a Principal Herald or a designated deputy to describe the submissions from their kingdom that they would like to have registered. This is usually abbreviated LoI. A Letter of Intent to Protector a Letter of Intent to Unprotect is a letter written by a member of the College of Arms describing names or armory which the author believes should receive (or should lose) protection as important non-SCA names or armory. These letters are subject to the same administrative processes as standard Letters of Intent. These are usually abbreviated LoItP and LoItU respectively. In kingdoms that have an internal submissions process using Letters of Intent, the Letter of Intent written at the Society level for the College of Arms is often termed an External Letter of Intent (abbreviated ELoI or XLoI) and the Letter of Intent written for use within the Kingdom is termed an Internal Letter of Intent (abbreviated ILoI).
Letter of Pends and Discussion.
A letter written by the Sovereign(s) of Arms to identify submissions which have been pended and issues which require discussion by the College of Arms. This is usually abbreviated LoPaD. See also Pended.
Letter of Response.
A letter written by a member of the College of Arms for purposes of responding to commentary written in Letters of Comment. This is usually abbreviated LoR.
The placement of a charge or group of charges on the field. For example, three roundels in fess are in a different location than three roundels in chief, although their arrangement remains the same. Also termed Placement and Position. See also Arrangement.
Locative Byname.
(Also known as Locative.) A byname referring to a geographical location. The reference may be by name, as in of York and Shropshire, or by description, as in atte Ford and Hill. See also Byname, Placename.
Maintained Charges.
Small objects that are held by an animate charge are said to be maintained, such as a lion rampant maintaining a sword. Maintained charges are considered too small to count towards difference. See also Sustained Charges.
Major Change.
Used in the name registration process to describe a degree of change which the submitter may allow, or refuse to allow, to be made to the name in order to allow it to be registered. Major changes include dropping an element or phrase, changing the order of the name elements, and changing the language of an element. See also Minor Change.
A byname given to offspring to indicate the name of the mother. The daughter of a Yorkshirewoman named Rose might take the matronymic Rosedoghter. Sometimes spelled "metronymic". See also Byname, Patronymic.
In Society heraldry, the metals are argent and Or. Furs that use metals as underlying tinctures, such as ermine and erminois, are treated as metals for contrast. See also Color, Furs, Tinctures.
Minor Change.
Used in the name registration process to describe a degree of change which the submitter may allow, or refuse to allow, to be made to the name in order to allow it to be registered. Minor changes include accents, punctuation, hyphenation, addition or deletion of a letter, upper-lower case changes, etc. See also Major Change.
For Society purposes, "modern" is anything after 1600 A.D. See also Period, Gray Area.
Modest Proposal.
The name given to the proposal, implemented in 1996, that the College of Arms restrict calling conflict of submitted armory to national arms, national flags, and a limited subset of other non-SCA armory. Such non-SCA armory which is still protected is added to and listed in the Armorial and Ordinary of the College of Arms. See also Letter of Intent.
Japanese armorial insignia. The SCA allows mon-like designs only if they can be blazoned in European heraldic terms.
An heraldic monster is any creature used in heraldry that does not exist outside the imagination. Monsters may either be clearly invented, such as the griffin, or a confused interpretation of a genuine animal, such as the heraldic tyger.
Mundane Name Allowance.
See Legal Name Allowance.
Name, Alternate.
Any name a participant in the Society registers with the College of Arms other than the primary name. See also Name, Primary.
Name Element.
A part of a name. A name element is usually a single word, such as a given name or an adjective in a descriptive byname. Part II of the Rules for Submissions describes compatible name elements. A name phrase is made up of name elements; while these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they help to distinguish issues involving the construction of words from issues of the construction of appropriate grammatical phrases. For example, in the name Richard of Sheepford, Sheepford is a name element, while the byname of Sheepford is a name phrase. See also Name Phrase.
Name, Legal.
See Legal Name.
Name Phrase.
A name phrase is a component of a name, such as a given name or a byname. It can be a single word, such as a given name or byname, or a collection of words that are grammatically linked and together serve as a byname, like an article and its noun such as the Smith, a preposition and its object such as of York, or an adjective and the noun it modifies such as White Horse. A name phrase is made up of name elements; while these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they help to distinguish issues involving the construction of words from issues of the construction of appropriate grammatical phrases. For example, in the name Richard of Sheepford, Sheepford is a name element, while the byname of Sheepford is a name phrase. The required designator in household and Society order names is a name phrase. See also Name Element.
Name, Primary.
The name under which College of Arms records, including armory registrations, are kept. Also known as Society Name. See also Name, Alternate.
Name, Society.
See Name, Primary.
Neutral Tincture.
A term used to refer to fields or charges equally divided of a color and a metal. Elements that are neutral are generally considered to have good contrast with colors and metals so long as they do not share any tincture. For example, a field per pale sable and argent has good contrast with a bordure gules, but not with a bordure sable. See also Color, Fur, Metal, Tincture.
Occupational Byname.
A byname indicating the bearer's occupation, such as Smith and Fleshewer (for a butcher). See also Byname.
Of or related to the study of names.
See Half.
In blazon the tincture yellow or gold. By convention, the tincture Or is capitalized in SCA blazons.
(1) A simple geometric charge. Although different lists of ordinaries may be found in heraldic texts, in SCA heraldry the term denotes those simple geometric figures that pass through the center of the field and terminate at the edge of the field (the pale, fess, bend, bend sinister, chevron, cross, saltire, pall, and pile), their diminutives, and the simple geometric additions to the edges of the field (such as the chief and bordure). (2) A list of pieces of armory, organized by charge types. See also Armorial.
The direction a charge faces and the direction its axis runs. Swords, by default, have a palewise orientation, with point to chief and the length of the sword vertical on the shield. Other orientations include bendwise, fesswise, inverted, reversed, or contourny. Orientation is sometimes confused with arrangement. Orientation is an aspect of posture and is controlled by the same rule for difference: X.4.h. See also Arrangement, Posture.
Overall Charge.
A charge that crosses over both edges of another charge to lie on the field on either side. For instance, Or, a lion rampant purpure and overall a fess sable has the fess starting on the field on one side, crossing over the center of the lion, and lying on the field on the other side. An overall charge is considered to lie directly on the field, and must have good contrast with it. An overall charge can never be the primary charge; in addition, there can only be a single group of overall charges.
A division of the field into pieces that have different tinctures. Some partitions follow and are named after ordinaries, like per pale, per fess, per bend, and per saltire; others have their own names, like checky, lozengy, and quarterly.
A byname given to offspring to indicate the name of the father. The son of an Irishman named Brian might use the patronymic mac Briain. This term is used generally in the Rules for Submissions to mean both patronymic and matronymic. See also Byname, Matronymic.
The Pelican Sovereign of Arms, who is a principal heraldic officer of the Society after the Laurel Principal Sovereign of Arms.
A submission is pended when the College of Arms has not been provided with sufficient information to provide adequate commentary. This can be either because the Letter of Intent has an error, or because an issue was raised in commentary which must be resolved before the pended submission may be considered. When a Letter of Intent is in error, submissions will only be pended if the error can be described succinctly in text; an omitted or misleading emblazon is grounds for return. See also Letter of Pends and Discussion.
A term used to refer to the culture the Society attempts to recreate, specifically "pre‑Seventeenth Century Western European culture". See also Domain of the Society, Gray Area.
Period of the Society.
The time before 1600 A.D.
Peripheral Charge Group.
A charge or group of charges that are placed on the field near the edge of a piece of armory without affecting the rest of the design. Peripheral charges include (but are not limited to): the chief, the bordure, the base (including the point pointed), the quarter, the canton, the gyron, the orle, the double tressure, and flaunches. Gores and gussets are not peripheral charges (because they extend so far into the center of the field). Peripheral charges are never primary charges, even if they are the only charges on the field. Peripheral Charge Groups are a type of secondary charge group. See also Field Primary Armory, Ordinary, Primary Charge Group, Secondary Charge Group, Semy, Tertiary Charge Group.
Permission to Conflict.
The owner of any registered item may allow the registration of a specific submission that would otherwise conflict by writing a letter of permission to conflict, or may direct Laurel to reduce the level of protection of that item with a blanket letter of permission to conflict. Permission to conflict can be granted for either name or armory submissions. Provisions for permission to conflict are detailed in the Administrative Handbook, parts III.C.3 & 4 of the Administrative Handbook, and a sample letter of permission to conflict can be found in Appendix D of the Administrative Handbook. See also Permission to Presume.
Permission to Presume.
The owner of any registered item may allow the registration of a specific submission that would otherwise presume a relationship by writing a letter of permission to presume. This allows a person to claim a close relationship to someone whose name is already registered. Provisions for permission to presume for names are discussed in RfS VI.3. Permission to presume may be required for armory under RfS I.3. For example, an armory submission including a chief charged with the phrase "Cariadoc of the Bow" would need permission to presume from Cariadoc of the Bow in order to avoid a claim to a relationship that does not exist. See also Permission to Conflict.
Persona Story.
As used in the College of Arms, the term refers to an attempt to justify a name combining elements from disparate cultures by reference to the persona's fictional biography. It is College policy to ignore persona stories.
Petition of Support.
A document signed by a majority of the populace and officers, or the seneschal and three-quarters of the officers of a Society branch, stating their support of the name and/or arms submitted to Laurel for registration. A branch with ruling nobles must include a statement of support from the ruling nobles in the petition. A valid petition must include a clear description of the item submitted; either the blazon or emblazon is sufficient for a petition regarding branch arms, though both are preferable. Special rules may apply to submissions by Kingdoms and Principalities. These rules are described in the Administrative Handbook, Part IV.C.5.
See Name Phrase.
Place Name.
The name for a geographic area, such as the name of a town or region. In the Society, place names are the names of shires, baronies, principalities, kingdoms, and other official branches. SCA and real-world place names can be used to create locative bynames. See also Locative Bynames.
See Location.
See Location.
The pose in which a beast or other animate charge is placed, such as rampant, passant, etc. Orientation is an aspect of posture and is controlled by the same rule for difference: X.4.h. See also Arrangement, Orientation.
A decision by Laurel regarding a submission that may be applied to other similar submissions. Only expressly stated Laurel decisions should be considered precedents; registrations without comment do not necessarily set precedent. The accumulated precedents of the Laurel office, filed by topic, are available to the public both through Free Trumpet Press and through the Laurel web site.
Claiming more importance for oneself than one is due. A person who pretends to be entitled to special treatment or recognition because of status, rank, or abilities that the person does not hold or has not earned is presumptuous.
See Presumptuous.
Primary Charge Group.
The most important group of charges in a piece of armory. In blazons, the primary charge group is usually mentioned immediately after the field (though a strewn charge group is not primary when it is blazoned before a central charge group). If there is a central ordinary lying entirely on the field, it is the primary charge. If there is no such central ordinary, then the primary charge group is the set of charges of the same size that lie in the center of the design and directly on the field. An overall charge can never be the primary charge. In any piece of armory with charges there will always be a primary charge group, unless the only charges are peripheral. There cannot be more than one primary charge group in any given design. In Gules, a pale between two mullets argent, the pale is the primary charge. In Or, a maunche between three roundels azure the maunche is the primary charge. In Per chevron argent and sable, two roses and a fleur-de-lys counterchanged and on a chief purpure three hearts argent, the roses and fleur-de-lys are the primary charge group, because they are all of about the same size and in a standard arrangement. In Azure semy of mullets and a chief argent the strewn mullets are the primary charge group; in Azure semy of mullets, an eagle and a chief argent the eagle is the primary charge. In Sable, a lion Or, overall a bend argent, the lion is the primary charge. In Azure, a chief Or there is no primary charge group. See also Overall Charge Group, Peripheral Charge Group, Secondary Charge Group, Semy, Tertiary Charge Group.
Primary Name.
See Name, Primary.
Principal Herald.
The chief heraldic officer of a kingdom, and a Great Officer of State in that kingdom. The Principal Herald is in charge of all heraldic activities within the kingdom.
(1) Specifying that a charge appears in its natural hues. A zebra proper has the zebra's characteristic pattern of black and white stripes; a tree proper has a brown trunk and green leaves. Proper should not be used to indicate colorings that can be easily described in terms of the usual heraldic tinctures: a raven proper is better blazoned as a raven sable. It should also be used only if a competent artist will be able to draw the animal correctly without extensive research. (2) Indicates a standard set of tinctures for a standard heraldic charge, such as a sword proper, which has an argent blade and Or hilt and quillons, or a rose proper, which is a rose gules, barbed vert and seeded Or. See Table 4, Conventional Proper Colorings for a listing of proper tinctures defined in precedent.
Protected Armory.
Armory with which new Society armory may not conflict. This includes armory that has been registered in the Society, as well as armory from outside the Society which is deemed important enough to protect. All protected armory is published in the Society Armorial and Ordinary, but is protected as soon it is so identified, and does not wait until the next publication of the Society Armorial and Ordinary to be protected. The Armorial and Ordinary is available from Free Trumpet Press West and, unofficially, via various web sites linked from the Laurel web page. The list of protected armory from outside the Society may be modified to add or remove entries as further research directs. Protected armory is described in the Administrative Handbook, part III.B. See also Armorial, Important Non-SCA Armory, Letter of Intent, Ordinary.
Regional Style.
Regional style refers to heraldry or naming practices of a particular time and place. A submission must be entirely consistent with a single regional style in order to be considered under the regional style sections of the armory rules on documented exceptions which are found in part VIII.6.b of the Rules for Submissions.
Acceptance by the Sovereign(s) of Arms of a piece of armory or name for future protection. The College of Arms will only register items it believes are compatible with period names and armory, are not offensive or presumptuous, and do not conflict with items already protected. Registered items are protected from conflict with other proposed names and armory to the best ability of the College of Arms.
Required Charges.
Branch arms are required to incorporate certain charges in the design. These required charges are for branch arms only, not badges. The requirements are listed in the Administrative Handbook Part II.D.2. See also Reserved Charges, Restricted Charges.
Reserved Charges.
Some charges are specifically reserved in the Society for use by particular groups or individuals, for instance the coronet with strawberry leaves reserved to Dukes and Duchesses, the circle of chain reserved to Knights, or the Laurel wreath reserved to Society branches. These charges are listed in Table 2, Reserved Charges.
Restricted Charges.
Some charges are so closely associated with royal families or specific honors outside the Society that they may not be used in Society armory at all. Examples of these include Azure semy‑de‑lys Or used by France, a Chinese Dragon with five toes used only by Chinese Emperors, or a Tudor Rose. Others have acquired such negative connotations that their registration may cause offense to a significant portion of the population. An example of such is the swastika, because of its association with the Nazis. Such charges are listed in Table 3, Restricted Charges.
This term is applied to elements of submissions (whether name or armorial) that, to the best of our knowledge, were not used in period but which have been declared registerable on the basis of their great popularity, such as Rhiannon and compass stars. The use of an SCA-compatible element is a weirdness. See also Weirdnesses, Rule of Two.
Secondary Charge Group.
A group of charges on the field around the primary charge group. A design may have more than one secondary charge group. Each group may confer difference independently. In Gules, a pale between two mullets argent, the mullets are the secondary charge group. The secondary charges in Or, a maunche between three roundels azure are the roundels. In Sable, a chevron cotised argent between three millrinds Or there are two secondary charge groups, the cotises and the millrinds. In Per chevron argent and sable, two roses and a fleur-de-lys counterchanged and on a chief purpure three hearts argent, the chief is the secondary charge group. A peripheral charge group is a type of secondary charge group. See also Charge Group, Peripheral Charge Group, Primary Charge Group, Semy, Tertiary Charge Group.
An adjective meaning that something is strewn with identical charges. (It is from the French semé, the past participle of the verb semer 'to strew'.) A field Azure semy-de-lys Or is blue with a pattern of gold fleurs-de-lys on it. A bordure vert semy of rowels argent is green and is charged with several (at least five and usually eight) white rowels evenly spaced around it. The charges so used are called strewn charges. When placed directly on the field, strewn charges are considered a separate charge group from any other charges. Strewn charges may be considered the primary charge group if there are no other charge groups present or if the only other charge groups present are peripheral charge groups. When placed on another charge, strewn charges are considered a tertiary charge group. Strewn charges are not considered a field treatment. Ermine spots in an ermined tincture are not considered strewn charges; they are considered part of a separate tincture. See also Ermined Tinctures, Field Treatment, Peripheral Charge Group, Primary Charge Group, Tertiary Charge Group.
Slot Machine Heraldry.
The popular name given to the part of Rule for Submissions VIII.1.a., which states that "three or more types of charges should not be used in the same [charge] group." In Argent, in fess a cherry gules, a bell sable, and a lime vert, there are three types of charges (cherry, bell, and lime) in the primary charge group; in Argent, two lions combattant and a sword and axe crossed in saltire, there are also three types of charges (lion, sword, and axe) in the primary charge group.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Society Name.
See Name, Primary.
In a design context, this means all the elements appear fixed and unmoving. Heraldic postures usually appear to place the weight of any beast firmly on its feet and the body posed unnaturally in a stiff position. Designs are balanced around the center of the shield so that the design looks rigid. Static designs are typical of period heraldry. The opposite of static is dynamic. See also Dynamic.
Strewn Charges.
See Semy.
The way elements are combined to form a complete name or armory submission.
A name or piece of armory that is presented to the College of Arms for registration.
The person who presents a submission to the College of Arms for registration.
Supported Charges.
See Sustained Charges.
See Hereditary Surname.
Sustained Charges.
Large objects that are held by an animate charge are often said to be sustained, such as a lion rampant sustaining a polearm. A charge is said to be sustained if it is large enough to count towards difference. The rule of thumb is whether, if the charge and the charge sustained were separated, the two charges would be so nearly equivalent in size that they could reasonably be blazoned as a single group of two equally important charges. Another term for sustained charges is supported charges, such as a lion rampant supporting a polearm. See also Maintained Charges.
Sword and Dagger rule.
The popular name given to rulings which disallow the use of similar but non-identical charges together on the field or in the same charge group. In Gules, a dragon and a wyvern combattant argent the dragon and the wyvern are both on the field, and are similar but not identical; therefore this design violates the rule. Closely related are the rulings which disallow the use of the same charge in a primary and secondary group. In Gules, a mullet and in chief three mullets Or, both groups of mullets are on the field; therefore this design violates the rule. Conversely, in Gules, a mullet and on a chief Or three mullets gules the rule is not violated, as the two groups of mullets are not both on the field.
Tertiary Charge Group.
Any group of charges placed entirely on other charges. Tertiary charges in a group may be together, such as three charges on a chief, or may each be on members of the same charge group. Per chevron argent and sable, two roses and a fleur-de-lys counterchanged and on a chief purpure three hearts argent has one group of tertiary charges on the chief. Gules, a chevron between three roses Or, each charged with a cross fitchy sable has one group of tertiary charges, the crosses. Or, on a fess gules an escallop between two millrinds Or, all within a bordure vert charged with eight roundels argent has two groups of tertiary charges, one group with the escallop and millrinds and the other with the roundels. Each tertiary group contributes to difference independently. See also Peripheral Charge Group, Primary Charge Group, Semy.
One of the seven standard hues used in Society armory, or a fur. The tinctures are the colors azure, gules, purpure, sable, and vert and the metals argent and Or. Furs include the ermined furs and vair, potent, scaly, papelonny, and their variations. See also Color, Ermined Tinctures, Fur, Metal.
(1) A form of address that indicates the rank of the person using it. The Society has formally reserved the titles found in Appendix C of the Administrative Handbook and their translations into languages other than English. These titles may only be used as authorized in Corpora. (2) A heraldic title is the name of a heraldic office (such as Pelican and Wreath) and is unrelated to rank. See also Herald, Laurel, Pelican, Wreath.
"Toyota", Rule of.
An informal term referring to the idea that the submitter may register armory that is not the best style or taste so long as it does not violate the Rules for Submissions. This is based on the advertising slogan "You Asked for It, You Got It!"
Trian Aspect.
Items drawn in 3D, or in 3/4 profile, or so that there is visible depth to the item. Normal heraldic depiction is very "flat" and two-dimensional, rather than a more naturalistic, or three-dimensional depiction. Therefore, other than a few charges which need this depth to be identifiable, such as dice, wedges of cheese, and tambourines, charges in trian aspect are not registrable.
Type, Charge.
The kind of a charge in a piece of armory. Gules, a chevron between two candles and a lantern Or has three types of charges: chevrons, candles, and lanterns. Argent, on a pale purpure between two lions combattant gules three lions passant Or has two types of charges: pales, and lions in two different postures. See also Peripheral Charge Group, Primary Charge Group, Secondary Charge Group, Tertiary Charge Group.
Variants, Linguistic.
Different spellings or pronunciations of the same word. Spelling was not fixed during the period studied by the Society, and often changed over time, so a single word may have several variant forms. To be registered, variants must be documented as plausible following the guidelines in the Rules for Submission Part II.
Voidable Charge.
A charge which can be voided, that is, have the middle cut out, allowing the field or other tincture to show through. The cutout portion should both be of the same shape as the charge and follow along the outline of the charge. In general, a simple geometric charge such as a pale, roundel, or a heart is voidable, while a charge with a more complex outline such as a lion is not. Charges in the center of the field are considered voidable and charges elsewhere on the field are not. This does not, of course, affect charges that are voided as part of their nature, such as mascles and annulets. See also Fimbriation.
See Weirdnesses, Rule of Two.
Weirdnesses, Rule of Two.
An informal term referring to the idea that the College can usually accept a name or armorial design that has one break with the usual period style provided that it is not overly obtrusive. A name or device that has two violations of period style, or two weirdnesses, is less likely to be registered. These weirdnesses are defined in precedents. See also SCA-compatible.
The Wreath Sovereign of Arms, who is a principal heraldic officer of the Society after the Laurel Principal Sovereign of Arms.

Table 1

Reserved Regalia

Where color is not specified, all colors and metals are reserved.

Name Reserved for
A white baldric Masters of Arms
A white belt Knights
A chapeau Pelicans
A circular chain Knights
A coronet embattled Counts, Earls, and Countesses
A coronet with strawberry leaves Dukes and Duchesses
A crown Royal Peers and the Court Baronage
A laurel wreath Laurels
A pelican in its piety Pelicans
A pelican vulning itself Pelicans
A wreath of roses Ladies and Lords of the Rose

Table 2

Reserved Charges

Name Reserved for
Baldric, White Masters of Arms
Belt, White Knights
Chapeau Order of the Pelican
Chaplet of roses Princesses
Charged canton Augmentation
Multiply charged single inescutcheon Augmentation or arms of pretense
Two straight trumpets in saltire Heraldic offices
Crown/Coronet Kingdom/Principality armory; Personal armory of Society Royal Peers and Court Barons/Baronesses
Laurel wreath Society branch arms
Orle or annulet of chain Knights
Pelican in its piety Order of the Pelican
Pelican vulning itself Order of the Pelican
Wreaths of roses Queens; Members of the Order of the Rose

Table 3

Restricted Charges

Name Blazon Symbol of
Red cross A cross couped gules on an argent background International Red Cross (protected by international treaty)
Belt strap A charge within a belt strap Scottish clan badges, when the belt strap encircles charge(s)
Crowned Harp A crowned harp Ireland
Crowned Rose A crowned [Tudor] rose England
Crowned Shamrock A crowned trefoil (or shamrock) Ireland
Crowned Thistle A crowned Scottish thistle Scotland
Flaming Cross A cross enflamed, or A cross of flames Ku Klux Klan
France ancient Azure, semy-de-lis Or France
France modern Azure, three fleurs-de-lis Or France
Fylfot See Swastika
Hand of Glory On a flame a hand; A hand enflamed Black magic
Imperial Dragon A five-toed Chinese dragon Emperor of China
Papal Cross A cross with three cross-pieces in chief Pope
Pentacle/Pentagram A mullet voided and interlaced/ within and conjoined to an annulet NOTE: This restriction has been rescinded as of March 2009.
Red Hand of Ulster A sinister hand appaumy gules on argent canton or inescutcheon British Baronets
Rose en soleil A rose with sunbeams emanating Plantagenet kings of England
Royal Dragon A four-toed Chinese dragon Ruler of Korea
Scottish Tressure A double tressure flory counter-flory Scottish augmentation; an orle fleury (counter-fleury) is insufficiently different
Swastika A swastika or a fylfot Nazi Party (NSDAP)
Triskelion gammadion A triskelion gammadion Afrikaaner Weerstandsbeweging, a white supremacist group
Tudor Rose The combination of a rose argent and a rose gules, whether as a double rose or in some other manner which creates a half-white, half-red rose Tudors

Table 4

Conventional "Proper" Colorings

Most monsters, e.g., griffins, unicorns, sea-lions, etc., being mythical creatures, have no "proper" coloration. Natural animals which are frequently found as brown but also commonly appear in other tinctures in the natural world may be registered as a brown [animal name] proper (e. g., brown hound proper, brown horse proper).

Charge Tincture or Blazon Tincture Class
Acorn Brown Color
Animals Varies by specific animal n/a
Antler/Ivory White or light yellow brown Metal
Arrow Brown shaft, black head, tincture of fletching specified Color
Axe No defined proper tincture n/a
Barbed and seeded Green sepals, yellow seeds Ignored
Bear No default; must be specified n/a
Boar Brown Color
Bread Brown Color
Bull/Cow No default; must be specified n/a
Camel No default; must be specified n/a
Carrot No defined proper tincture n/a
Cherub No defined proper tincture n/a
Chough Black with red beak and legs Color
Cloves Dark brown Color
Daisy Argent seeded Or Metal
Deer/Stag Brown Color
Dog/Wolf No default; must be specified n/a
Dolphin Green with red fins Color
Dolphin, natural Gray Metal
Dove White with pink or red beak and legs Metal
Elephant Gray with white tusks Metal
Falcon Brown Color
Fire/flame Alternately red and yellow or yellow and red Neutral
Ford A base wavy barry wavy blue and white Neutral
Fountain A roundel barry wavy blue and white Neutral
Fox Red with black "socks" and white at tip of tail Color
Hammer Sable shafted of brown wood Color
Hare Brown Color
Harp Brown Color
Horse No default; must be specified n/a
Humans/human parts Caucasian by default, i.e., pink or white (See also Moor) Metal
Ibex Brown Color
Ladybug No defined proper tincture n/a
Lavender Purple flowers, green leaves and stem Color
Leaf Green (sometimes with a brown stem) Color
Leather/leather items Brown Color
Mermaid Caucasian human with green tail and yellow hair Neutral
Monster Most have no proper tincture n/a
Moor Brown with black hair Color
Moose Brown Color
Mouse No default; must be specified n/a
Owl No default; must be specified n/a
Parchment Tan or yellow Metal
Peacock Mostly blue and green with "eyes" in the tail Color
Pickaxe Black, shafted brown Color
Plants Green, sometimes with brown stems Color
Pomegranate Green, seeded red Color
Popinjay Green with red details Color
Pretzel Brown Color
Rabbit Brown Color
Rainbow (on color field: from top to bottom)
Yellow, red, green, white; white clouds
(on metal field from top to bottom)
Blue, green, gold, red; cloud color must be specified
Rainbow, natural (from top to bottom)
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white clouds
Raven Sable Sable
Rose Red, barbed green and seeded yellow Color
Saracen As a default Human Metal
Seraph Caucasian skin, red hair, multicolored wings n/a
Ship Brown, sails must be specified Color
Slipped and leaved Brown or green stem and green leaves Color
Stone/stone items Gray Metal
Sword White with yellow hilt and quillons Metal
Tai-chi Per fess embowed counter-embowed argent and sable Neutral
Thistle Green sepals, stem, leaves; purple or red flower Color
Tiger No default; must be specified n/a
Tree Brown trunk, green leaves Color
Urchin Brown with white face and belly Color
Weaver's slea Brown Color
Wood/wooden items Brown Color
Zebra White striped black Metal

Table 5

Conventional S.C.A. Default Postures

In general, the end of a charge that is to chief when the charge is palewise will be to dexter when the same charge is placed fesswise (as if rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise). A sword fesswise, for example, has its point to dexter, and an arrow fesswise has its feathers to dexter. The most common exception is the (quill) pen: when palewise, it has its nib to base, but when it is fesswise, the nib is to dexter.

Charge Default Posture
Abacus Fesswise
Acorn Palewise, stem to chief
Angel Affronty
Anvil Single-horned, horn to dexter
Arrow Palewise, point to base; when fesswise, point to sinister
Arrowhead Point to base
Attire, Stag's Fesswise, stump to dexter
Axe Palewise, head to chief
Badger Statant
Barnacles Palewise, hinge to chief
Barrel Fesswise
Bat See Reremouse
Bee Tergiant
Bellows Palewise, spout to base
Birds Generally close; see specific birds as well
Bone Palewise
Book, open Palewise
Book, closed Fesswise
Bow Palewise, string to sinister (when fesswise, string is to base)
Broach, Embroiderer's Palewise, forked end to chief
Broadarrow Palewise, point to base
Brush (artist's) Palewise, tuft to chief
Calipers Points to base
Candle Palewise
Catapult "Rest" position, with the arm neither cocked and ready, nor at full release
Chair Affronty
Cockatrice Statant, wings addorsed
Comet Palewise, head to chief
Crampon Palewise
Crane In its vigilance (close, standing on one foot, holding a stone in the other)
Crossbow Palewise, bow to chief, cocked
Cup Palewise, mouth to chief
Daffodil No default; must be specified
Demi-beast Erect
Dice In trian aspect, showing three of the sides with one square face forward
Dolphin Naiant
Dragon Segreant
Drop Spindle Palewise whorl to base
Drum Palewise, head to chief
Eagle Displayed
Eel Fesswise wavy
Escallop Hinge to chief
Falcon Close (often, but not always, belled and jessed)
Fan Open or spread
Fasces Palewise
Feather Palewise, quill point to base (when fesswise, quill point is to dexter)
Fer-a-loup Convex cutting edge to base
Fetterlock Bolt to base
Fish Naiant
Fork Palewise, tines to chief
Fruit Generally, those that hang from a stem (e.g., apples) have the stem to chief; those that grow from the ground (e.g., artichokes) have the stem to base
Frog Tergiant
Furison Fesswise, flat edge to base
Goad Palewise, point to chief
Goose Close
Griffin Segreant
Gyronny of six Per fess, with the upper and lower halves divided into thirds
Hammer Palewise, head to chief, striking surface to dexter
Harp Forepillar to dexter (i.e., soundbox to sinister)
Harpy Close
Head, Beast Facing dexter
Head, Bird Facing dexter (except Owl's head)
Head, Human and Humanoid Generally: If feminine or child, affronty (guardant);
if masculine, facing dexter
Head, Owl Guardant
Hedgehog (or Urchin) Statant
Heron Close
Hoe Palewise, blade to base
Horn (animal or monster) Palewise, point to chief or point to dexter
Horn (drinking) Palewise, bell to chief
Horn (hunting) Bell to dexter
Horn (straight trumpet) Palewise, bell to chief
Horn of plenty Effluent to dexter
Horseshoe Opening to base
Hourglass Palewise
Humans Statant affronty
Humanoid monsters Statant affronty
Hunting horn See Horn (hunting)
Insect Tergiant
Jambe See Leg, Beast
Key Fesswise, wards to dexter and facing downwards; when palewise, must be specified (wards to chief or wards to base)
Knife See Sword
Kraken Tentacles to chief
Ladder Palewise
Ladle Palewise, bowl to base and facing dexter
Leaf Palewise, stem to base
Leg, Beast Palewise, claws to chief
Leg, Bird Palewise, claws to base
Leg, Dragon Palewise, claws to chief
Leg, Human Palewise, foot to base
Lion Rampant
Lotus No default; must be specified
Lure Cord to chief
Lute Palewise affronty (strings facing viewer), but with the pegbox visible
Lightning Bolt No default; must be specified
Mace Palewise, head to chief
Mandrake Affronty
Martlet Close
Mask Affronty
Mermaid/Merman Erect affronty
Mount Issuant from base
Mountain Issuant from base
Mushroom Couped
Musical Instruments Generally, palewise affronty (finger holes or strings facing viewer)
Nail Palewise, point to base
Needle Palewise, point to base
Oar Palewise, blade to chief
Ostrich Close, holding a horseshoe in its mouth
Owl Close guardant
Panther Guardant; body posture must be specified
Pegasus No default; must be specified
Pen, quill Palewise, nib to base (when fesswise, nib to dexter)
Pheon Palewise, point to base
Phoenix Rising from flames, wings displayed
Pine Cone Palewise, but must be specified whether stem to chief or to base
Pitcher Palewise, spout to dexter
Polearm Palewise, blade to chief
Pole-Cannon Palewise, mouth to chief
Printer's Ball Handle to chief
Psaltery Strings affronty
Ram, Battering Fesswise, head to dexter
Raven Close
Recorder Palewise, bell to base, finger holes facing viewer
Reremouse Displayed guardant
Sackbut Palewise, bell to base; when fesswise, bell to dexter
Scorpion Tergiant
Scourge Handle to base
Scroll, Closed No default; must be specified
Scroll, Open Palewise
Scythe Palewise, blade to chief
Sea-Horse Erect
Sea-Lion Erect
Sea-Monster Erect
Seeblatt Point to base
Shave, Currier's Fesswise, edge to base
Sheaf A sheaf consists of two objects in saltire surmounted by a third palewise
Shell, Snail Opening to dexter
Shell, Whelk Palewise, opening to chief
Ship Fesswise, bow to dexter
Shoe Fesswise, toe to dexter
Shuttle, Weaver's Fesswise
Silkie Erect guardant
Simurgh No default; must be specified
Sitar Palewise, neck to chief
Slea, Weaver's Fesswise
Sling Cup to base, thongs to chief
Spade/Shovel Palewise, blade to base
Spear Palewise, point to chief
Spider Tergiant
Spur Palewise, rowel to chief
Spoon Palewise affronty, bowl to chief
Squirrel Sejant erect
Swan Rousant (rising)
Sword Palewise, point to chief
Tankard Palewise, mouth to chief and handle to sinister
Thistle Palewise, slipped and leaved
Tree Palewise, leaves to chief, with just a little of the root structure visible
Trillium Affronty, petals in pall
Trimount Issuant from base
Trumpet Palewise, bell to chief
Turtle Tergiant palewise
Unicorn Rampant
Urchin Statant
Viol Palewise, neck to chief
Wake knot Fesswise
Weapons Generally, palewise, "business end" to chief
Winged object Wings displayed
Winged quadrupedal monsters Wings addorsed
Wreath Circular, with the tips of the two branches nearly touching to chief
Wyvern Statant

Appendix 1

Terms Commonly Misused in the SCA College of Arms

An ambiguous term which should be avoided in blazon. Generally, two charges one of which is "above" the other on the field can be blazoned as in pale or an X and in chief a Y. See also Atop.
Said of a charge which is conjoined to another charge to base, e.g. a falcon perched atop a gauntleted cubit arm fesswise is in pale a falcon conjoined at the feet to a gauntleted cubit arm fesswise. See also Above, Upon.
Bendwise sinister.
Lying diagonally across the field from sinister chief to dexter base. Frequently misblazoned as "bend sinisterwise", bendwise indicates the angular orientation, and sinister modifies that orientation.
Often used to describe an animate charge facing to sinister, so that a lion rampant contourny is a lion rampant to sinister. There is no "e" in contourny (the French usage is contourné(e), depending on the gender of the noun being modified). See also Reversed.
The plural of cross crosslet is crosses crosslet.
Applies only to a two-sided ordinary (such as a pale or fess) which zig-zags or "dances" across the field. Indeed, a fess dancetty may be blazoned simply as a dance. Modern non-SCA heraldic treatises define dancetty as a larger version of indented, but period blazons do not make this distinction. See also Indented.
A charge which has small gouts of flame issuing from it. See also On a flame.
The feather of a bird. See also Quill pen, Quill.
The plural of fleur-de-lys is fleurs-de-lys.
Term applied to certain crosses with splayed limbs, used in preference to the more ambiguous term paty. See also Paty.
Applies to a line of division which zig-zags across the field, e.g., per fess indented, a chief indented. Victorian and modern non-SCA heraldic treatises define indented as a smaller version of dancetty, but period blazons do not make this distinction. See also Dancetty.
Said of a charge or group of charges which is placed entirely on other charges (tertiary charges); e.g., on a pale argent a sword gules; on a chief sable three escallops argent. See also Upon.
On a flame.
A charge completely surrounded by a flame is said to be on a flame. See also Enflamed.
Term sometimes used which describes an entire family of crosses with splayed limbs, not used in SCA blazon. See also Formy.
The plural of [a charge name plus modifier] is always [charges plus modifier] (e.g., lion rampant/lions rampant; cross fleury/crosses fleury). See also Cross, Fleur-de-lys.
"Most important; chief" (Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary). The principal herald of a kingdom is the Great Officer of State in charge of heraldry and the College of Heralds of that kingdom.
"A rule or code of behavior" (Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary). The College of Arms expects the principal heralds to be of high principles.
An heraldic term for a spool about which yarn or thread is wound. Also called Embroiderer's quill, Quill of yarn. See also Quill Pen, Feather.
Quill Pen.
A feather, the lower end of the quill of which has been cut into a nib. See also Quill, Feather.
Often used to describe an inanimate charge oriented the opposite of its default orientation along a horizontal axis; e.g., a sword fesswise reversed is a sword fesswise point to sinister; an arrow fesswise reversed is an arrow fesswise, point to dexter. (Non-SCA blazon uses reversed to describe what SCA blazon terms inverted; i.e., a charge turned upside down along the vertical axis of the shield.) See also Contourny.
Semy is not a field treatment, but is a group of charges strewn across the entire field or portion of a divided field. It is not a noun: the correct usage is semy of [charges], not a semy of [charges].
Torteau is the singular, torteaux is the plural, for a roundel or roundels gules.
An ambiguous term which should be avoided in blazon. See also On, Atop.
A wreath is a circular charge, with its chiefmost ends nearly touching. Two sprigs (straight branches) crossed to form a "V" is not a wreath. See the illustration below for a depiction of a laurel wreath.
[Laurel Wreath]