Saturday, January 02, 2016

Jack-a-napes and Moldiwarps (or, great discoveries in Lithuanian heraldic research)

Last year my uncle discovered our family coat of arms. It's called Zadora and was used by many families of Polish/Lithuanian heritage.  I have always had an interest in symbolism and heraldry and the discovery of this shield inspired me to research the elements of the design.

Blue field = loyalty and strength
Lion head = courage


The interesting stuff was among the lesser-used symbols (mostly found on this Wikipedia page), such as:
Jessant-de-lys - a leopard barfing up a fleur de lis.
Jack-a-nape - monkey
Moldiwarp - mole
Urcheon - hedgehog
Coneys - rabbits (did you know this is why Coney Island was so named? Lots of bunnies. And did you know the word "bunny" comes from "bun" the Scots Gaelic word for "bottom" in reference to where the cottontail resides? And do you realize my curiosity is why it takes me 6 hours to do anything?)
Biscione - serpent eating someone
Barnicle geese - birds that grow from trees over water until they are ripe and fall into the water
Allocamelus - ass-camel

I actually never found out what just the head of a lion means, nor why it is breathing fire and if there is any reason there are 5 flames, so if anyone has a hot lead on meaning, please post below!

No comments: