One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
usually postpositive (of an animal) represented as walking, with the right front foot raised. The animal is depicted in profile facing the dexter side with the tail raised, unless otherwise specified (e.g. as ‘passant guardant’).
- ‘This design is blazoned as ‘Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale Or,’ and it is still the coat of arms of England today.’
- ‘Notice the maker's mark is missing and that the lion passant mark is eroded in a peculiar fashion not consistent with normal wear’
- ‘It has three gold lions on a red background, walking with their heads turned to face out from the shield, or, in heraldic language ‘Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale Or.’’
- ‘Drawing near, Bruetar gently tied a piece of fine cloth embroidered with his sigil - a passant black dragon - around her upper arm.’
- ‘It is therefore important when examining a slaver on foot to see that it is struck with the obligatory lion passant or leopard's head erased mark.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, literally ‘proceeding’, present participle of passer.
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