Word of the Week (171): FOURCHEE (probability 21916), by David Sutton

FOURCHEE is a term used in heraldry to designate a cross that has the end of its arms forked. Heraldic crosses can take a surprising number of forms. Here are some more:

AVELLAN(also AVELLANE) having the end of each arm shaped like a filbert
BOTONE(also BOTONEE, BOTONNEE, BOTTONY) having a bud or knob at the end of each arm
FITCHE(also FITCHEE, FITCHY) having a pointed shaft
FORMEEhaving the arms narrow at the centre and expanding towards the ends
MOLINEhaving the end of each arm shaped like the rind of a millstone; this can also be a noun
PATONCEhaving arms expanding in curves from the centre, with floriated ends
PATTEE(also PATY) having the end of each expanded in three clawlike divisions
POMMEEhaving arms with knoblike ends

Then we have nouns designating kinds of cross: the SVASTIKA, SWASTICA or SWASTIKA is well known, but another name for this is FILFOT or FYLFOT, and then there is the SALTIER or SALTIRE, an X-shaped or St Andrew's cross.

Finally let us mention CRUSILY, which designates a heraldic field strewn with CROSSLETS or small crosses.


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