One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
postpositive (of a fish or marine creature) swimming horizontally.
- ‘Fish are in general naiant by default; the exception are the crustaceans, which are tergaint by default.’
- ‘The Order of the Pisces: Sable, two fish naiant in annulo and a bordure Or.’
- ‘Sometimes it is emblazoned naiant embowed where the fish forms an ‘arch’.’
- ‘Per pale and per chevron Vert and Azure, in dexter chief two salmon naiant, in sinister chief a broad-axe, in base a salmon naiant, all Argent.’
- ‘Badge for the Barony of the Far West - Gules, a dolphin embowed naiant argent through an annulet Or.’
Mid 16th century: from Anglo-Norman French, variant of Old French noiant ‘swimming’, present participle of noier, from Latin natare ‘to swim’.
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