Canadian Heraldic Dictionary

Dictionary entries beginning with the letter A Dictionary entries beginning with the letter B Dictionary entries beginning with the letter C Dictionary entries beginning with the letter D Dictionary entries beginning with the letter E Dictionary entries beginning with the letter F Dictionary entries beginning with the letter G Dictionary entries beginning with the letter H Dictionary entries beginning with the letter I Dictionary entries beginning with the letter J Dictionary entries beginning with the letter K Dictionary entries beginning with the letter L Dictionary entries beginning with the letter M Dictionary entries beginning with the letter N Dictionary entries beginning with the letter O Dictionary entries beginning with the letter P Dictionary entries beginning with the letter Q Dictionary entries beginning with the letter R Dictionary entries beginning with the letter S Dictionary entries beginning with the letter T Dictionary entries beginning with the letter U Dictionary entries beginning with the letter V Dictionary entries beginning with the letter W Dictionary entries beginning with the letter X Dictionary entries beginning with the letter Y Dictionary entries beginning with the letter Z

Term Source Meaning Illustration
Sabre-toothed Tiger 439 Combat support Sqn,,RCAF. Vol VI, P 128 The Sabre-toothed Tiger is a prehistoric animal related to the modern tiger. It is used here to depict the nickname of the squadron which flew the Sabre jet. It may also be used to suggest ferocity.
Sailing Ship, Fully Rigged City of Quebec. Vol I, P 3 The 17th-century Sailing Ship alludes to the arrival of Champlain and the original settlers in Quebec in 1608.
Salmon (Coast Salish) Capilano University (Badge) Vol V, P 554 The salmon is an important local species and is shown here in the artistic style of the Coast Salish nation.
Salt-bank Schooner Hagerman, B.A. Vol V, P 298 The Salt-bank Schooner is typical of the sailing ships of Canada's East Coast.
Sand Dollar Jean, Michaëlle. Vol IV, P 1 The Sand dollar is a marine creature found on both Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of Canada. It is a special talisman of Her Excellency.
Sapiné Greater Sudbury Sapiné refers to a division line formed of alternating fir trees.
Sapinagé   Sapinagé refers to a division line formed of alternating fir twigs.
Saskatoon Bush HJMCS Saskatoon. Vol III, P 382 The Saskatoon Bush held in the lion’s paw is a direct reference to the name of the ship.
Scimitar Reynolds, C.L. In Canadian practice, the distinction between the scimitar and the seax seems to have been abandoned, since the weapons illustrated are blazoned as scimitars, despite the notches in their backs.
Scottish Terrier Mikel, E.A. Vol IV, P 135 The Scottish Terrier, or Scottie, is a popular companion. It is an independent and rugged breed, originating in Scotland.
Scuba Diver Munn, K A. Vol IV, P 79 The Scuba Diver in these arms is a reference to the grantee’s experience as a diver.
Sculptor's Mallet Jarvis, K.P. Vol II, P 390 The Sculptor's wooden Mallet, as seen here in both shield and crest is the main implement of the sculptor and symbolic thereof.
Sea Bison Lee, P. S-L. Vol V, P 539 The Sea Bison is seen here as the dexter supporter. The bison is the Provincial animal of Manitoba. The lower body of a fish refers to the grantee's skills in limnology - the study of lakes and rivers.
Sea Boar Sweeney, L.K. Vol II, P 58 The Sea Boar is an heraldic boar with a dolphin's tail. It suggests strength and power associated with the sea or maritime pursuits.
Sea Caribou Royal St. John's Regatta Committee. Vol II, P 347 The Sea Caribou combines the Body of a caribou with the tail of a fish.
Sea Cerberus 5th Maritime Operations Group. Vol IV, P 163 In Greek and Roman Mythologies, Cerberus is a three-headed dog guarding the Underworld. This creature has been converted into a sea monster to represent the maritime/naval nature of the Group.
Sea Cougar Finn, G. Vol II, P102 The Sea Cougar, shown as the sinister supporter of the arms, combines the head and upper body of a cougar with the tail, scales and fins of a fish.
Sea Deer Finn, G. Vol II, P102 The Sea Deer shown as the dexter supporter of the arms, combines the head and upper body of a deer with the tail, scales and fins of a fish.
Sea Doe Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, BC. Vol V, P 333 The Sea Doe (the dexter supporter) is a combination of a female deer and a whale or porpoise, representing swiftness and tireless effort.
Sea Griffin Canadian Mortgage Forces, Ltd. Vol VI, P242 The Sea Griffin, combining the characteristics of an eagle, a lion and a fish, represents the three elements (air, land and sea) of the Canadian Forces.
Sea Lion HMCS Windsor. Vol IV, P 17 The Heraldic Sea Lion shows a lion with a fish's tail. It alludes to the lion supporters of the arms of the City of Windsor, Ontario, but with a fish's tail to suggest the sea.
Sea Otter Mitchell, G.A. Vol IV, P 417 The Sea Otter is a reference to an important element of the 19th-century fur trade in north-western Canada.
Sea Owl Jones, C.H. Vol IV, P 502 The Owl is an ancient symbol of wisdom. The lower, fish-like, part alludes to the grantee's love of water sports.
Sea Qilin Lee, P. S-L. Vol, V, P 539 The Sea Quilin is seen here as the sinister supporter. The Qilin is a hooved animal of Chinese mythology, representing benevolence, good will and good government. The lower body of a fish alludes to the Grantee's skills in limnology - the study of lakes and rivers.
Sea Scallop   sea scallop differs from the standard heraldic escallop primarily in facing in the opposite direction with the "hinge" down.
Sea Stag Woods, A.T. Vol VI, P 245 The Sea Stag (shown here on the dexter side of the shield) is a stag with a fish's tail.
Sea Tiger Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. Vol VI, P 23 The Tiger alludes to the sinister supporter of the City of Hamilton's arms, while the fish's tail refers to the aquatic activities of the yacht club.
Sea Turtle Chan, C.T. Vol VI, P 111 The Sea Turtle is a reference to the grantee's grandfather, who purchased sea creatures and released them back to the sea. It represents in this case care and generosity. It can also refer to travel by sea.
Seahorse (Natural) Sajous, E. Vol V P 104 The natural Sea Horse - as distinct from its well-known heraldic form - is a bony, scale-less fish that swims upright. It evokes the aquatic world.
Secretary Bird Roux, J-L. Vol IV, P 200 The Secretary Bird is a predatory bird of Africa, used heraldically because of its name to refer to secretaries, journalists and authors.
Sedna Hanson, A.M. Vol V, P 146 The dexter supporter in these arms (shown as a woman with a whale's tail) represents Sedna, a famous creature from mythology around the circum-polar world and known as the Sea Ruler of the Arctic.
Semaphore Flag Guité, M.J.C. (Badge) Vol V, P 113 The Semaphore Flags refer to the grantee’s career in the field of communications, but may also be used to allude to communications in general.
Semaphore Tower Toccacelli, J.E. Vol VI, P 338 The Semaphore Tower was a method of communicating messages over a visible distance, prior to the invention of the electric telegraph.
Serpentine University Club of Montreal. Vol VI,P 116 The curved partition line in bend sinister is blazoned as Serpentine.
Sharp-shinned Hawk 19 Wing, RCAF. (Badge) Vol III, P 372 The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk of the US and Canada, occurring primarily in woodland country.
Shearwater 12 Wing, RCAF (Badge) Vol III, P 367 The Shearwater is pelagic bird of temperate and cool waters. These birds fly with stiff wings, using a shearing flight technique to skim across wave fronts with a minimum of active flight.
Shield - East African Cardozo, V.A. Vol IV, P 132 The shield shown here is typical of those used in Kenya, and refers to the grantee's place of birth.
Ship's Propeller Kinley, J.J. Vol III, P 189 The Ship's Propeller, shown here in the base, alludes to the grantee's association with manufacturing for the fishing industry.
Shofar Dowd, T.E. Vol VI, P 75 The Shofar (shown here in base) is an ancient Jewish musical instrument, most often made from a ram’s horn. It is used in Bishop Dowd’s arms to symbolize the action of announcing the glory of God and the coming day of the Lord.
Silo Gonyou, J.D. Vol V, P549 The Silo (in its agricultural sense) is a cylindrical tower, often attached to a barn and used to store grain. It refers here to the family’s agricultural heritage.
Simbi Jean, Michelle. Vol IV, P 1 Simbi (shown here as supporters) are water spirits from the Haitian culture, who comfort souls, purify troubled waters and intervene with wisdom and foresight. They allude to Her Excellency's Haitian background and the vital role of women in advancing social justice.
Skis City of Rossland, BC. Vol III, P 145 The Skis shown in the crest refer to the City of Rossland as a training centre for world-class skiers.
Small-mouth Bass Town of Stewiacke, NS. Vol V, P 184 The Small-mouth Bass shown held by the eagle in the crest symbolizes sport fishing in the local rivers.
Snow Goose 714 Commun-ications Squadron (Badge) Vol II, P 401 The Snow Goose is a North American species of goose, its name deriving from the typically white plumage. It nests and mates in arctic regions, but winters in warm parts of the continent, from western BC through parts of the US to Mexico. In these arms, it alludes to the wide range of communications performed by the Squadron.
Snow Knife NCC Investment Group (Nunavut) Vol VI, First Nation, P1 The Snow Knife (held by each of the supporters) is a tool used in the construction of igloos.
Snow Leopard Malaison, J.H.S. Vol VI, P 93 The Snow Leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of South Asia. It is the National Heritage Animal of Pakistan. It can recognize Pakistani origin or, as in this case, strength of character.
Snowy Owl Gary R. Hayes The Snowy Owl is the provincial bird of Quebec. The Snowy Owl is a bird with exceptional vision and acute hearing and can detect prey at several miles distant. It is a bird of open country and unlike many owls is active during the daylight hours.
Snowy Owl #2 771 Communi-cations Sqn. (Badge) Vol II, P 416 The Snowy Owl is a large owl native to the arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. Many males are in fact, white, but females tend to be white with significant brown or black speckling. Unlike most other owls, the Snowy is not nocturnal, since during their breeding and nesting periods in the Arctic summer, there is almost constant daylight.
Snowshoes Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton. Vol V, P 479 The Snowshoe, as seen in the sinister chief, is the classic North American form of winter-travel footwear.
Sod House Schaaf The sod house of the early days of the Prairies has so far appeared in only a single grant, but it has potential for descendants of the early settlers in that area.
Song Thrush Noyes Roberts, R.H. Vol III, P 321 The Song Thrush is a European bird used here to suggest its beautiful song and the grantee's British origin.
Songbirds Orpheus Musical Theatre Society. Vol V, P 44 Songbirds are a class of small birds noted for well-developed musical calls. They are used in this instance to refer to the musical elements of the Society’s productions.
Sparrowhawk Canadian Border Services Agency. Vol V, P 521 The Sparrowhawk is a brave warrior with keen eyesight.
Speaking Trumpet Brian T. Domander An ancient predecessor of the megaphone.
Sperver Lawer Sperver is an obscure synonym for the better-known heraldic term pavilion.
Spindle Whorl (Coast Salish) Emily Carr University. Vol V, P 332 The blazon for this crest is - "Issuant from flames, a Coast Salish spindle whorl charged with a raven, all Argent, embellished Azure."
Spirit of Kwantlen Kwantlen University College, Surrey, BC. (Badge). Vol III, P 314 The Spirit of Kwantlen is a device of the Kwantlen First Nation, showing a wolf, a salmon and a river (the central swirl). It is used here as a symbol of the College.
Sprocket Trials & Evaluations nit A sprocket is essentially a gear wheel voided.
Spud Wrench Coates, F.R. Vol II, P 8 The Spud Wrench (held here by the caribou) is a tool used by riggers in the construction of steel buildings.
St. Bartholomew's Knife Parish of St. Bartholomew, Ottawa, ON. Vol II, P 219 St. Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles, is traditionally pictured as holding a large knife in his hand, referring to the belief that he was martyred by being skinned alive. The knife pictured in these arms is similar to that held by a famous statue of the saint in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.
St. Bernard Dog Playing a Piano Gignac, R. Vol V P 519 The St. Bernard is well-known for loyalty, fidelity and obedience. The piano alludes to the grantee's love of music.
Stage with Footlights Orpheus Musical Theatre Society. Vol V, P 44 The Stage with footlights,– seen here as the compartment – alludes to the theatrical performances organized by the Society.
Stagecoach Ville de Stanstead, Que. Vol. IV, P 117 The Stage Coach was a main form of overland transportation in early Canada.
Star of Life Toronto Emergency Medical Services This useful innovation, consisting of three billets conjoined in asterisk (vide supra), the star so formed being charged with a rod of Aesculapeus, is known as the Star of Life. It is used as a symbol by many ambulance, para-medical and emergency services.
Star of Life #2 Alberta Emergency Medical Services. (Badge) Vol, P548 The Star of Life (shown in Azure) represents emergency medical services.
Star of Vergina Roman This delightful star (or sun) of sixteen separate points surrounding a central circle closely resembles a compass rose. Its name refers to the town of Vergina in northern Greece, where it was found during archeological ex-cavations. It is associated with Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. The fleur de lis is an added charge.
Starburst HMCS Preserver. Vol V, P 385 The Life Preserver is a direct reference to the ship's name. The Starburst at its centre represents the flare that is automatically ignited when the flare touches the water.
Steam Locomotive Affronty City of North Battleford, Sask. Vol V, P 151 The Locomotive is seen here in frontal view. It symbolizes the importance of the railroad in the development of Western Canada.
Steer Guichon, J.I. Vol VI, P 361 The Steer (a castrated bull) represents the livestock of the western ranching country of Canada.
Steller’s Jay Holmes, P.D.P. (Badge) Vol Iv, P 306 The Steller's Jay is native to Western North America. It is the official bird of British Columbia. It differs from the Blue Jay in having a black head and upper body.
Stellar Lights Corel Corporation. Vol III, P 118 The Stellar Lights, appearing in the shield between the two flaunches, allude to the night sky through which computer information flows.
Stetson Hat Calgary Petroleum Club. Vol II, P 134 The Stetson Hat is traditionally seen as a symbol of the ranchers of the West - and, by extension, of the West itself.
Stove Fawcett Family Association (Flag) Vol IV, P 40 The Wood-Stove, seen here in the fly, is used on this occasion to refer to the grantee’s company, which manufactures them. It may also allude in more general terms to the warmth of a family or home.
Strawberry Flower City of Abbotsford, BC. Vol III, P 59 The Strawberry Flower is the floral emblem of the Fraser clan and is a reference to the Fraser Valley.
Sugar Cane Francis, M.E. Vol V, P 236 The sugar cane in saltire in the arms represents the West Indian origin of the grantee.
Sugar Loaf Zaharescu, Barbara. Vol IV, P 157 The Sugar Loaf, shown in this crest between two wings, was the traditional form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century.
Sumac, Sprig of Lady Eaton College, Peter-borough, ON. Vol I, P 14 The sprig of Sumac (shown here in the quarters) is a typical North American plant. Its stems have a soft pith, which can be hollowed out. This made them useful in the making of traditional Native American pipes.
Surveyor's Chain Assoc. of Ontario Land Surveyors. Vol II, P 143 The Surveyor's Chain was, until the development of electronic tools, the instrument used by land surveyors to measure distance. One tenth of a furlong, or one-eightieth of a mile long, it had to be both accurate and tough. It symbolizes the surveyor's profession.
Swainson's Hawk Maciborski, S.R. Vol Vi, P 433 Swainson's Hawk is a native inhabitant of the Great Plains. Here it represents strength, vision and protection.
Swan-Gazelle Quebec City Ballet. Vol V, P 419 This half-swan, half-gazelle hybrid animal represents the grace and power of ballet.
Swan, Trumpeter Town of Creston, BC. Vol V, P314 The Trumpeter Swans refer in this case to the original name, "Valley of the Swans", before Creston was incorporated.
Symbol for Man Bogie, J M. Vol IV, P 127 The Symbol for Man – a circle with an arrow projecting at an angle – was originally the symbol for Mars. It was also used as the alchemic symbol for iron and is used here to refer to the grantee’s mining explorations.
Symbol for Women Campbell, Avril Kim. Vol II, P 380 The small circle with a cross beneath it is an ancient symbol of the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus. It therefore symbolizes all women and their importance in society.

Copyright © 2008 Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC)
Released: November 18, 2008 / Last modified: November 26, 2015