The Rhodesian Coat of Arms

The ensuing jingle, a combination of mock heraldic and 1950's "Deeshun", purports to be a fair representation of the coat of arms of Southern Rhodesia pre 1980.

It contains some ingenious punning and gross inaccuracies as the footnote explains.

This ditty was passed to Peter Hugo by the late Eng. JG Wallis in the 1950's and attributed to the Chief Herald at that time.

Here goes:

" Two Sables Proper, funa skoff
All rampant on their toeses
While thistles leaved and proper slipped
Are prickant of their noses
A pick or something like one, vert,
All gravity defying
Is standing upside down to show
What can be done by trying
Passant gules a soapstone bird
Sittant tight and praying
That housewife will not wringent neck
For insufficient laying"


H= Heraldic
D = Deeshun

"Sables"(H)Taurotragus niger, sable antelope also (h) black

"Proper"(H) symmetrically placed on opp sides, generally facing inward

"Funa skoff"(D) hungry

"Rampant"(H) upright, proud

"Toeses"(D) hooves

"Leaved and proper slipped"(H) slips cut and trimmed symmetrically framing

"Or" (H) golden which is quite correct but punned to indicate alternative

"Vert" (H) green - a contradiction of 'or' preceding

"Passant" (H) passing by, generally with one foot raised

"Gules" (H) red, rufous - possibly correct if bird was shown rufous

The phrase 'passant gules' might more precisely be reworded to 'couchant gris' (lying, grey) as this eggbound avion in grey serpentine was never anything but perched.

Peter Louis Hugo as recounted to Neville Stein (typist and son in law)
Circa April 2002.