Dicton Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Dicton Family Coat of Arms

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Dicton Coat of Arms Meaning

Dicton Name Origin & History

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Dicton Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Dicton blazon are the antelope, leopard’s face and bend. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, argent and vert .

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

The ibex or antelope was drawn by heraldic artists in rather more fearsome aspect than its real-life appearance, with large horns, mane and a long tail. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Antelope These days we regard the ibex as being a member of the goat family rather than an antelope, but in the middle ages there were was no real distinction between these animals. They could adopt many of the poses of the lion, such as rampant and statant. 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P210

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome ”hazardous things by force and courage” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 13Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Dicton Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Lincoln). Ar. an antelope pass. betw. three leopards’ faces gu.
2) Vert a bend or.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Antelope
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P210
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65
13. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49