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Pimbley's Dictionary - P -

Pimbley's Heraldic Dictionary


Pale - One of the nine honorable ordinaries. It is a vertical line, set upright in the middle of the shield and occupying one-third of the field. It seldom contains more than three charges.

Palewise - In the manner of a pale or pales; divided by perpendicular lines; to divide the field palewise.

"Hath behind it palewise an abbot's crosier." -- Wood: Fasti Oxon, i, 12.

Pall - A figure having the form of the letter Y. It consists of half a pale issuing from the base, and conjoined in the fesse point with half a saltier from the dexter chief and sinister chief.

Pallet - (pal'-let) A diminutive of the pale, being one-fourth of its breadth. (Some writers say one-half.)

Palletted - (pal'-let-ted) Being conjoined by a pallet; as "A chevron palletted."

Palmer's staff - A branch of a palm tree carried by a palmer in token of his having been to the Holy Land.

Paly - (pale"y) A field divided into four or more equal parts by perpendicular lines of two tinctures alternating. The number should always be specified; as, "Paly of six argent and gules."

PALY BENDY - When the divisions are again cut by diagonal lines, either dexter or sinister.

Papagay - (pap'-a-gay) A popinjay. An early bird in English heraldry.

Pard - A leopard.

Parted - [See PARTY.]

Partition - One of several divisions made in a coat when the arms of several families are borne on one shield, from intermarriage, etc. (In this connection see QUARTERING.)

PARTITION LINES - The lines by which a shield may be divided. They are closely allied to the ordinaries for which they are named. When a field is divided in the direction of an ordinary it is said to be "party per" that ordinary; as, party per pale, party per bend, etc. Unless otherwise specified, the partition lines are straight; they may, however, be drawn in a variety of ways, such as undy, embattled, dancette, etc.

Party - Parted: divided. Used in reference to any division of a field or charge. When a field is divided toward an ordinary it is said to be "party per" that ordinary.

PARTY PER BEND - When the field is divided by a line running diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base.

PARTY PER CHIEF - Divided by a horizontal line one-third the distance of the field from the top of the shield. (Party per chief is rare.)

PARTY PER CROSS - This is called Quarterly.

PARTY PER PALE - Divided by a perpendicular line.

PARTY PER FESSE - Divided by a horizontal line in the center of the shield.

Passant - (pas'-sant) Walking; said of any animal, except beasts of the chase, when represented as walking, with the dexter paw raised.

The same attitude in the case of a stag, hart, etc., would be trippant.

Patee - (pa'-tay) Spreading out at the extremity: applied principally to a cross. (Also written as paté and patée.)

Paternal - Paternal Arms. [See under Arms.]

Patonce - (pay-tons) Applied to a cross having expanded ends, like the cross patée, each end terminating in three points.

Patriarchal cross - (pa'tri-ar-kal) A cross in which the shaft is twice crossed, the lower arms being longer than the upper.

Patronage - Arms of Patronage. [See under ARMS.]

Patte - [See PATEE.]

Pavilion - (pay-vil'-yun) A sort of mantling or claok in the form of a tent investing the coat of arms of a sovereign. [MANTLING.]

Pavon - (pay'-von) A flag borne by a knight in the Middle Ages, upon which his arms were displayed. It was of triangular form, smaller than the pennon, and affixed to the upper part of his lance.

Penn - (peen) One of the furs. The ground is sable, with the spots or tufts or.

Pearl - The same as argent.

Pelican - (pel'-i-kan) While this bird is ocassionally seen in arms, it is more common as a crest. When represented as wounding herself, she is vulning; when feeding her young, in her piety. Pelham bore "Azure, three pelicans vulning themselves proper."

PELICAN IN HER PIETY - A pelican represented in the act of wounding her breast to feed her young with her own blood. This came from a fabulous tale in natural history told in the Middle Ages, and which made the bird the adopted symbol of the Redeemer.

Pellet - (pel'-let) A black roundel. (Also called ogress and gunstone.) [See also ROUNDEL.]

Penned - (pend) Having wings. (Applied to a hawk's lure.) {See LURE.]

Pennon - A small flag or streamer half the size of the guidon.

Per - By: by the means of: by way of.

Perclose - (per'-kloz) The lower part of the garter with the buckle, etc. (Also called the demi-garter.)

Perculaced - (per'-ku-last) The same as LATTICE.

Peregrine falcon - {See FALCON.]

Pheon - (fee'on) A bearing representing the head of a broad arrow or javelin, with long barbs which are engrailed on the inner edge.

The pheon was, like the modern mace, carried before royalty by a sergeant-at-arms. It became a royal mark, and is still used in Great Britain to denote crown property, being termed the Broad R, or broad arrow.

Pick - An instrument used in the chase; a spike; a pike.

Pierced - Applied to any bearing which is perforated so as to show the field under it.

Pike - A military weapon, consisting of a long, narrow lance head fixed to a pole. It was used by musketeers to repel cavalry.

Pile - One of a honorable ordinaries, having the form of a wedge, issuing from the chief, with the point ending with the lower point of the shield. When borne plain it contains one-third of the chief in breadth; when charged, two-thirds. The pile is a very early bearing, and its origin is obscure. It has no diminutives.

PER PILE - Applied to an escutcheon which is divided by lines in the form of the pile.

Plate - A roundel tinctured argent. {See also ROUNDEL.]

Plenitude - (plen'-i-tude) Fullness. When the moon is represented full it is described as "the moon in her plenitude."

Plie - The same as CLOSE.

Ploye - (Plwa-ye') Bowed and bent.

Poing - (pwán) The fist; the hand closed, as distinguished from apaumé.

Point - 1. One of the several parts denoting the local positions on the escutcheon of any figure or charges. The principal points are:

A. - Dexter Chief F. - Nombril (navel) B. - Middle Chief G. - Dexter Base C. - Sinister Chief H. - Middle Base D. - Honor, or color J. - Sinister Base E. - Fesse (center)

2. A small part of the base of a shield variously marked off.

POINT IN POINT - When the base somewhat resembles the pile.

Pointed - Said of a cross when its ends are so cut; as, a cross pointed.

Pomey - (pom'y) A figure representing an apple; it is always of a green color. A roundel tinctured vert.

Pommee - (pom'-may') A cross having the ends terminating in single balls.

Pommette - (po'-may-tay) A cross having two balls or buttons at each end.

Pommeled - Having a pommel, as a sword or dagger.

Portant - The same as PORTATE.

Portate - (por'-tat) Borne bendwise; diagonally across the escutcheon. Example: A cross portate = a cross lying as if carried on a persons shoulder.

Portcullis - The same as LATTICE.

Portcullis - One of the pursuivants of the College of Arms.

Pose - (po'-zay) Said of a lion, horse or other beast when represented standing still, with all four feet on the ground.

Potence - (po'-tens) A cross having ends that resemble the head of a crutch.

Potent - (po'-tent) One of the heraldic furs, composed of patches, supposed to represent crutch heads; the color is usually argent and azure alternating. If otherwise, this should be specified. Potent is a variety of vair, and in early times was often blazoned "vair potent."

COUNTER POTENT - A fur differing from potent only in the arrangement of the patches. (Also written potent counter-potent, potency counter-potency and potency in point.)

Potented - Applied to a bearing when the outer edges are T-shaped, or form into potents.

Powdered - The same as SEME.

Prancing - Applied to a horse represented rearing.

Prester John - A mythical descendant of Ogier the Dane. In the Middle Ages he was believed to rule as a Christian sovereign and priest in the interior of Asia.

A representation of the Prester John may be seen on the arms of the See of Chichester.

Pretense - Escutcheon of Pretense. [See under ESCUTCHEON.]

Pretension - Arms of Pretension. [See under ARMS.]

Prey - At prey is applied to the falcon when represented feeding.

Preyant - The same as PREYING.

Preying - Applied to any beast or bird of prey when represented standing on and in a proper position for devouring its prey.

Pride - A term applied to the peacock, turkey cock and other birds which spread their tails in a circular form and drop their wings; as, "A peacock in his pride."

Prince - Heraldically speaking, the title of Prince belongs to dukes, marquises and earls of Great Britain; but in ordinary usage it is restricted to members of the royal family.

PRINCE OF WALES - The official title of the heir apparent to the throne of England.

PRINCES OF THE BLOOD - The younger sons of a sovereign.

PRINCE ROYAL - The eldest son of a sovereign.

Proper - Represented in its natural color. Said of charges; as, "a lion proper."

Purfle - (pur'-f'l) To ornament with a bordure of ermines, etc.

Purfled - (pur'-feld) Trimmed or garnished. Applied to the studs and rims of armor, being gold; as, "a leg in armor purfled or."

Purflew - (pur'-flu) A border of fur shaped exactly like vair. When of one row only, it is called purflewed; when of two, counter-purflewed; when of three, vair.

Purple - This color in heraldry is known as PURPURE.

Purpure - (pur'-pure) Purple. It is represented in engraving by diagional lines declining from the right top of the shield to the left base (from sinister chief to dexter base).

Pursuivant - (pur'-swe-vánt) An official in the English College of Arms. There are four pursuivants - Rouge Croix, Blue Mantle, Rouge Dragon and Portcullis. There were formerly six pursuivants attached to the court of Lyon King-of-Arms, in Scotland - Unicorn, Carrick, Bute, Kintyre, Ormond, and Dingwall. The last three have been abolished.

PYE - The popinjay; the woodpecker.

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last updated on: September 13 2018

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