martlet

martlet

[mahrt-lit]
noun
1.
British Dialect. a house martin.
2.
Heraldry. a representation of a swallow close and without legs, used especially as the cadency mark of a fourth son.

Origin:
1530–40; < Middle French martelet, variant of martinet; see martin, -et

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World English Dictionary
martlet (ˈmɑːtlɪt)
 
n
1.  an archaic name for a martin
2.  heraldry a footless bird often found in coats of arms, standing for either a martin or a swallow
 
[C16: from French martelet, variant of martinet, diminutive of martin]

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