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What is the proper name for a herald's staff?

Discussion in 'Manners/Etiquette' started by CarolinaTuxedo, May 30, 2016.

  1. CarolinaTuxedo

    CarolinaTuxedo Starting Member

    2
    United States
    Georgia
    Atlanta
    At some white tie balls and other truly formal occasions, a herald / footman / doorman / adjutant / butler is stationed at the door to the ballroom and formally announces the guests as they arrive, sometimes banging a large wooden staff on the floor once or twice prior to each announcement.

    What is the proper name for this herald’s staff?

    Were it the staff of a prelate, it would be a Crosier, but I think that name only applies to ecclesiastical staffs – and those are not used for announcing guests or to command attention like a gavel.
     
  2. Dhaller

    Dhaller Super Member

    United States
    Georgia
    Atlanta
    "Crosier" derives from the French for a shepherd's crook, so that it indeed strictly ecclesiastical (though it can seem highly appropriate!)

    The name of the staff is going to be very context dependent if you're looking for some kind of adjectival detail; if the event has a grand marshal announcing guests, it would be a marshal's staff, and so on.

    Assuming your typical ball has a master of ceremonies, a marshal, a footman, or just a butler (at a private house), you could just label the staff (or rod, but generally you aren't banging a rod on a floor) accordingly. Most formal events I've been to have had marshals (I say subjectively and anecdotally - others' mileage may vary), though I don't recall too much floor-banging.

    Getting to the point: a given ball/gala can well have its own nomenclature - think of the Black Rod of Parliament.

    I'd just call it a staff!

    DH
     
  3. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur - Moderator

    Harmony, FL
    United States
    Florida
    Harmony
    "White tie balls," "banging a large wooden staff on the floor," "what is the proper name for this heralds staff?"

    "Crosier derives from French for shepherds crook," name of the staff is context dependent, ie; marshal, footman , butler, etc." "but knock off the floor banging." Think..."Black Rod of Parliament," but "just call it a staff!"

    Not a day passes, on which I peruse the AAAC forums and do not learn something new and frequently memorable. An unusual subject and a fascinating exchange..thank you gentlemen! :thumbs-up:
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Site Creator/Administrator Staff Member

    United States
    California
    Palm Desert
    Admin Post
    Whatever its name, now I just have to have one!! ;)
     
  5. CarolinaTuxedo

    CarolinaTuxedo Starting Member

    2
    United States
    Georgia
    Atlanta
    Thank you, gentlemen. If I learn more, I will post it here.
     
  6. Chouan

    Chouan Honors Member

    UK
    Cambridgeshire
    Ely
  7. Chouan

    Chouan Honors Member

    UK
    Cambridgeshire
    Ely
    I remembered! It is a wand! Really!
     
  8. Langham

    Langham Honors Member

    England
    Kent
    Tenterden
    As in the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod - who of course carries a black rod.

    It must be an obscure and rather precarious line of business to be a maker of croziers/staffs/wands/rods.
     
  9. softcollar

    softcollar Starting Member

    12
    UK
    London
    London
    In England the wooden staff about five feet long carried by ceremonial functionaries is usually called a wand. Church wardens have a wand of office often carried in procession.
     

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