One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Red, as a heraldic tincture.postpositive ‘sword and long cross gules’
scarlet, vermilion, ruby, ruby-red, ruby-coloured, cherry, cherry-red, cerise, cardinal, carmine, wine, wine-red, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured, blood-redView synonyms
- ‘He bore a shield of silver, stencilled with gules.’
- ‘Red (‘gules’) can be any shade of red, but cannot be replaced by another colour.’
Middle English: from Old French goles (plural of gole ‘throat’, from Latin gula), used to denote pieces of red-dyed fur used as a neck ornament.
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