One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Arms containing an allusion to the name of the bearer.
- ‘The arms of the Archdiocese of Hartford are called canting arms or armes parlantes, which speak or proclaim the name of the bearer.’
- ‘The heron is drawn with a long tuft on its head; it is found in the canting arms of Heron, c.1255.’
- ‘Both of these patents of arms may be termed canting arms which means that they contain a pun on the surname.’
- ‘The black roundle in the center of the shield with the three stones or rocks affords canting arms for Rockville Centre.’
- ‘In England, smooth-feathered corbies are found in depictions of the canting arms of Corbet throughout our period.’
Early 17th century: canting from cant, in the obsolete sense ‘speak, say (in a particular way)’.
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