bar sinister

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bar sinister

1. obsolete In heraldry, a mark that runs from the left shoulder of the bearer down to the right, often used to denote a noble whose parents were not married at the time of the birth. "Sinister" comes from a Latin word meaning "on the left." The young duke, born out of wedlock to the king, wore a bar sinister upon his shield.
2. By extension, the status, stigma, or implication of being born to parents who were not married at the time of the birth. The boy grew up in comfort, but his other brothers never let him forget his bar sinister.
See also: bar

bar sinister

A coat of arms ornamentation that is supposedly a sign of illegitimacy. The phrase, which has appeared in the works of novelists Laurence Sterne and Sir Walter Scott, implies a “bar” that prevents the person from a legitimate claim or inheritance, while “sinister” (the heraldic term for a coat of arms' left side) sounds menacing. Although the idea of a bar sinister on an illegitimate person's shield entered popular speech more than two centuries ago, that's not heraldically correct. A patterned border around a shield was the British heraldry way of indicating bastardy, and if you want to be even more technical, a thin diagonal line that does not touch the edges of the shield is a “baton,” not a “bar.” However, people rarely check with the College of Arms before using words and phrases.
See also: bar
References in periodicals archive ?
"This latest scam is particularly sinister, as the caller tells the person that their house is under surveillance, which is frightening for people of any age.
However, that all changed when she learned that a sinister ex of hers named Mateo (Andoni Gracia), a drug lord, had tracked her down and wanted her back.
When the people of East Germany told their regime it was time to retire, it became just too obvious: Those rulers had no grand plan, sinister or otherwise, except holding onto power and then begging for mercy.
The MP's behaviour has been condemned for being "McCarthyite", while the tone of the letter has been described as both sinister and "Orwellian."
Country Fried Mix is the brainchild of international music producer, Charlie Pennachio, and national touring artist and producer, DJ Sinister. The weekly show, which runs on Friday or Saturday night, serves up back to back Country hits, mashed up and remixed unlike anything else on the radio.
Critique: "Show Me the Sinister Snowman" is the fifth novel in Carolyn Mulford's 'Show Me' detective series, dedicated mystery buffs will appreciate the deftly crafted characters, as well as the unexpected plot-driven twists, turns and surprises.
Aasiya said, By boycotting these elections, people will fail those who have sinister designs like setting up soldier colonies, separate townships for Pandits and implementing Industrial policy against Kashmir and Muslims.
Synopsis: "Sinister Urge: The Life and Times of Rob Zombie" by Joel McIver is the first in-depth, career-spanning biography of heavy-metal musician and film maker Rob Zombie.
Sinister Urge: The Life and Times of Rob Zombie provides a detailed biography of the heavy metal musician that only requires an affection for the man or his music to prove interesting.
7 (-) The Bad Education Movie 8 (-) Vacation 9 (5) Trainwreck 10 (8) Minions TOP TEN FILMS 1 (1) Inside Out (pictured) 2 (-) Sinister 2 3 (2) Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 4 (3) The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Jason Blum's Blumhouse production shingle is known for its factory-like efficiency in churning out profitable low-budget horror properties, but with "Sinister 2," director Ciaran Foy's follow-up to Scott Derrickson's 2012 hit, the company achieves a rather extreme level of economy.
Rem Koolhaas has issued a warning that technology is infiltrating buildings, describing the rise of smart systems as "potentially sinister".
(1990/12) Sinister Film4 9pm Ethan Hawke heads the cast as a true-crime writer who relocates his family to a woodland house where murders he's investigating took place.
SINISTER Film4 9PM PREMIERE Desperate for a bestseller, author Ethan Hawke (below) moves his family into a haunted crime scene.