Canting arms

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A common simple example of canting arms: the castle representing the Kingdom of Castile and the lion representing the Kingdom of León.[1]

Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.[2]

Canting arms – some in the form of rebuses – are quite common in German civic heraldry. They have also been increasingly used in the 20th century among the British royal family.[citation needed] When the visual representation is not straightforward but as complex as a rebus, this is sometimes called a rebus coat of arms.[citation needed] An in-joke among Society for Creative Anachronism heralds is the pun, "Heralds don't pun; they cant."[3]

Examples of canting arms[edit]

A famous example of canting arms are those of the British queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Her arms (pictured below) contain in sinister (i.e. on the bearer's left, viewer's right) the bows and blue lions that make up the arms of the Bowes and Lyon families.

Sometimes also called "canting"[by whom?] are municipal coats of arms which interpret the town's name in rebus form

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.heraldica.org/topics/canting.htm
  2. ^ "Cant". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. ISBN 0-395-82517-2. 
  3. ^ Ron Knight. "Heraldry for Those Who Cant". Retrieved 2 July 2012.  Cites 72 historical examples of canting arms, as well as SCA usage.
  4. ^ Englefield, Eric (1979). Flags. Ward Lock. p. 104. 
  5. ^ Room, Adrian (1988). Dictionary Of Place Names In The British Isles. Bloomsbury. p. 128. 
  6. ^ Weeks, Andrew. "Obdam (The Netherlands)". Flags of the World. CRW Flags. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Schneider, Klaus-Michael. "Municipality of Manacor". Flags of the World. CRW Flags. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 

References[edit]