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Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry: B, Page Three

Heraldic Terms from Bend to Bitted


Bend - One of the ordinaries. It is formed of two lines, and is drawn from the dexter chief to the sinister base point of the escutcheon. It generally occupies one-fifth of the field; but formerly it was one-fifth only when plain, and one-third when charged.

The bend is said to have been derived from the border on a woman's cap known as a bend. It is possible that its origin was a representation of the baldric. According to some, the origin was a scaling ladder. In the beginning of heraldry the bend was a mark of cadency, but later became an honorable ordinary.

    "The diminutives of the bend are the bendlet, garter or gartier, which is half its width; the cost or cottice, which is one-fourth; and the riband, which is one-eighth." - (Gloss. of Her.)

Bend Sinister - An ordinary resembling the bend in form, but extending from the sinister chief to the dexter base. The diminutives of the bend sinister are the scarpe, which is half its width; and the baton, half as wide as the scarpe and couped.

In Bend - When bearings are placed bendwise the term in bend is used.

Per Bend - [See party per bend, under PARTY.]

Bending - The same as BENDY. (Chaucer.)

Bendlet - A diminutive of the bend. Generally it is half the width of the bend; but sometimes it appears much narrower. In ancient heraldry a bendlet azure on a coat was a mark of cadency.

    "Bendlets are occasionally enhanced or placed in chief sinister.." - (Gloss. of Her.)

Bendy - An escutcheon having bends which divide it diagonally into four, six or more parts is called bendy. The lines are drawn in the same direction described under BEND: when drawn in the contrary direction they are styled bendy sinister.

Bend Barry - [See Barry Bendy.]

Bendy Lozengy - Having each lozenge placed in bend.

Bendy Piley - Divided into an equal number of pieces by piles placed bendwise across the escutcheon.

Beque - (Bee'-kay) Beaked. This term is used of a bird having its bill of a color different from that of the body. [See BEAKED.]

Bevelled - [See BEVILLED.]

Bevilled - (Bev'-illed) When the outward lines of an ordinary turn in a sloping direction.

Bevilways - At a bevil. This term is used of charges or anything similar.

Bezant - (Be'-zant) A gold roundlet, representing a coin of that name. It is supposed to have been introduced into English heraldry by the Crusaders, who had received the gold coin while in the East. [See also ROUNDEL.] [For Cross Bezant, see under CROSS.]

Bezante - (Be-zan'-tay) Covered or studded with bezants; seme of bezants.

Bicapitated - (By-cap'-i-ta-ted) Having two heads, such as the two-headed eagle on the arms of Russia, as well as on those of Austria.

Bicorporate - (By-cor'-por-ate) Having two bodies; having the hinder parts in duplicate, with one head and one pair of forepaws.

Big - [See BIGG.]

Bigg - Barley. Specifically, the barley common to the north of Scotland, having six rows of seed. Bigland of Bigland bore "Azure, two ears of bigg or." (Also written big.)

Billhead - The head of a bill. Generally borne on a charge. (The bill was a war instrument - a species of halberd.)

Billet - (Bill'-et) (1) An oblong square, supposed to represent a sheet of paper folded in the form of a letter. Its proportion is two squares. (2) A staff as a billet, raguled and tricked, meaning a ragged staff in pale. (Gloss.of Her.)

Billetty - (Bill'-et-ty) Seme of billets.

Billetty Counter-Billetty - Barry and paley, the divisions of the former being as wide again as those of the latter.

Bird - Birds figure to a large extent in heraldry, and represent the contemplative as well as active life. Among those used with the greatest frequency are the following:


Among the terms applied to birds are Membered, Armed, Closed, Disclosed, Rising and Volant.

Bird and Bantling - A Lancashire term, applied to the well-known crest of the Stanleys of an eagle preying on a child.

Bird-bolt - A short arrow with a broad, flat end.

Bitted - Said of a horse when borne with a bit of a different tincture from the animal itself, when it is said to be bitted of that color. This term is also used to describe a horse's head with bit and rein; as, "Three horses' heads couped, bitted and reined or."

Find another term:


Bachelor to Barrully
Barry to Belt
Bend to Bitted
Black to Blue Mantle
Boar to Bute

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