Tabard

From Academic Kids

A tabard worn over armour
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A tabard worn over armour

A tabard is a short coat, either sleeveless, or with short sleeves or shoulder pieces, emblazoned on the front and back with the arms of the sovereign, and worn, as their distinctive garment, by heralds and pursuivants.

A similar garment with short sleeves or without sleeves was worn in the middle ages by knights over their armour, and was also emblazoned with their arms or worn plain.

The name was also given in earlier days to a much humbler similar garment of rough frieze worn by peasants; the ploughman wears a tabard in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. See also The Tabard, the inn at which the principals meet in that same Prologue. (Wikisource:The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue)

Similarly at Queens College, Oxford, the scholars on the foundation were called tabarders, from the tabard, obviously not an emblazoned garment, which they wore.

It can also be the British English word for a cobbler apron.

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