Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Canting

Canting is the term employed in the science of arms to denote what is otherwise understood by the word "punning." It is used when the arms, crest, or motto bear some evident relation to, or are a play upon, the name of the family to whom they belong; and also when the motto bears this same relation to the coat or crest. Though by some people this class of heraldry has been rather despised, the case should really be very much the reverse, as nearly all the armorial bearings which it has been possible to trace to their actual origin have proved to be of this character. A good example of "canting" insignia is afforded by the Barnard family, who bear "Argent a bear rampant sable, muzzled or" and for a crest, "Out of a ducal coronet or, a demi-bear as in the arms." The motto is "Fer et perfer," the translation of which - bear and forbear (fore-bear) - is robbed somewhat of its Christian sentiment by the evident pun which has been perpetrated.