Online Encyclopedia

MOTTO (an Italian word, from Late Lat...

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 931 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MOTTO (an Italian word, from Late Lat. muttum, a low sound, a mutter or murmur, cf. mutere, to mutter; the Latin word also gives Fr. mot, word), a " legend " consisting of a significant phrase or sentence, sometimes even of a single word attached to an emblem or device, and, in heraldry, placed on a scroll below the achievement or above the crest. Mottoes express sometimes a sentiment, a favourite principle, emphasize the meaning or symbolism of the emblem or device, and, in heraldry, often allude to one or more of the " charges " in the coat of arms, &c. There are many publications which give lists of some of the best-known mottoes, such as Fairbairn, Book of Family Crests, 1856; Wachbourne, Book of Family Crests (2 vols., 1882) ; Chassant and Tansin, Dictionnaire des devises historiques et heraldiques, (1878); Dielitz, Die Wahl- and Denkspriiche, Feldgeschreie, Losungen, Schlachtund Volksrufe, besonders des Mittelalters and der Neuzeit (4 vols., 1888). Gatfield's Guide to Printed Books and MSS. relating to Heraldry (1892) contains a bibliography.
End of Article: MOTTO (an Italian word, from Late Lat. muttum, a low sound, a mutter or murmur, cf. mutere, to mutter; the Latin word also gives Fr. mot, word)
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