The two main devices (symbols) in the Hough blazon are the bend and wolf. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and sable.
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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 3. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.
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 6. 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). 7. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 8.
The wolf was the symbol of Rome long before the advent of heraldry, and before that was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. 9 In heraldry it is probably more often just as head than the whole animal, but when whole it can be in many different poses. 10 It is found from the earliest instances of arms, but quite often due to a derivative of its French name, loup sharing the initial sound of many family names like LOWE and LOVATT.