Square shape of escutcheon

Alternative forms




From Middle English scochon, from Anglo-Norman escuchon, Old French escusson (French écusson), ultimately from Latin scutum (shield). Related to scutum, scute, scudo, escudo, and écu.




English Wikipedia has an article on:

escutcheon (plural escutcheons)

  1. (heraldry) The shield on which a coat of arms is displayed, or, by extension, the coat of arms itself.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “The Fête at Sir Robert Walpole’s”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 33:
      He dies: his very coffin is comfortable; the very vault of his ancestors is sheltered; a funeral sermon is preached in his honour; and escutcheon and marble tablet do their best to preserve his memory.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “1/5/1”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days[1]:
      And in the meanwhile, Society shivered a little feverishly, filled now with the scions of those who had come over with the Jewish and American Conquests. Escutcheons were becoming valueless, how sinister soever the blots and clots upon them.
  2. (heraldry) A small shield used to charge a larger one.
  3. (medicine) The pattern of distribution of hair upon the pubic mound.
  4. A marking upon the back of a cow's udder and the space above it (the perineum), formed by the hair growing upward or outward instead of downward. It was once taken as an index of milking qualities.
    Synonym: milk mirror
    • 1867, Charles Louis Flint, Milch cows and dairy farming:
      The milk-mirror, or escutcheon, is formed by the hair above the udder, extending upwards between the thighs, []
  5. (nautical) The part of a ship's stern where its name is displayed.[1]
  6. A decorative and/or protective plate or bezel to fill the gap between a switch, pipe, valve, control knob, etc., and the surface from which it protrudes.
  7. The insignia around a doorknob's exterior hardware or a door lock's cosmetic plate.
  8. The depression behind the beak of certain bivalves; the ligamental area.

Derived terms





  1. ^ 1841, Richard Henry Dana Jr., The Seaman's Friend