The main device (symbol) in the Abnott blazon is the smew. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.
We can consider the goose and duck together here as the former is quite rare, the latter appear in several forms, but both share the same meaning. Guillim, the 17th century author points out that such birds can swim, fly and run and thus their use may symbolise those who “have many ways of eluding their enemies”. 5 Other names for the ducks especially mayh have been used because of some assocation with the family name, the smew may fall into this category. 6