Glossary of Terms


Alpha and Omega -           “The Beginning and the End,” when used with Cross or some
                                          other symbol of Christ.  Meaningless without sacred symbol
Anchor -                            Symbol of Hope
Apex -                               The top of a die, cap, plinth or spire sloping upwards to a point
                                          from the four sides
Arms -                               The two horizontal projections on a cross, also referred to as
                                          Traverse bar
Ashlar -                              Small pieces of granite, rough or finished, which make up the
                                          side walls of a mausoleum
Axed -                               A surface dressed with a bush hammer 


Barre Guild -                     Barre organization of quarries-manufacturers to maintain high
                                         standards of granite and craftsmanship
Base -                               The bottom part of a two-piece monument, or the lower parts
under a die as the first base is always the bottom, the second
                                         base may be one tier higher, the third base one tier higher, etc.
Base-relief -                      Sculpture in low relief. (Pronounced Baa-relief)
Bed -                                The bed of a base applies to that  part of its top surface cut to
                                         fit the joint of the die
Bevel -                              A slanting top. A bevel differs from a “slant” in that a “slant”
                                         refers to a sharply slanting face
Bleeding Heart -                Symbol of Grief, Bereavement
Block -                             A large, rectangular piece of rough material
Blue Bell -                         Floral Symbol of Constancy, Sorrowful Regret
Blued -                             A surface darkened in color by a sand-blast abrasive
Bottom Jointed -               Bottom of a die, or other connecting piece, squared up
                                         for setting on a base
Buffer Head -                    The circular disk used to buff or polish the material 


Calla Lily -                        Floral symbol for Sympathy and Zeal
Canopy -                          An ornamental or roof-like covering supported by columns
Candelabrum -                  An ornamental candlestick having 3, 5, and 7 branches
                                         Popular as a Jewish symbol for a woman
Cap -                                Usually applied to the top part of a three or four piece
Capital -                            The uppermost part of a column or pilaster which serves as a
                                         crown to the shaft
Carving -                           See: Shaped carving, shaped with screen background, plain
                                         or flat, plain or flat with screen background, skin, screen panel
Chamfer -                          Surface made by cutting away a square edge. A beveled edge
Check -                             A square cut member one inch or less. When larger than one
                                          inch they are called rabbets
Chipped -                          A defect, a small piece broken out of edge
Columbarium -                   A structure of vaults lined with recesses for cinerary urns; also,
                                          in plural, the niches in such a structure
Convex -                           Curving outward like a segment of a globe or circle-opposite to
Cross -                              Symbol of Christianity
Crown of Roses -              Symbol for Reward for Virtue
Crucifix -                           Latin Cross with figure of Our Lord upon it
Crypt -                              Enclosure for a casket in a mausoleum--when preceded by a
                                         number, as 10-crypt or 2-crypt, it indicates the number of caskets
                                         which may be placed in a mausoleum; a vault wholly or partly
                                         underground, especially a vault under a church; a grave or tomb
Cubical Content -              The cubic feet and inches in a die, base or block
Curbing -                           Fence or low enclosure for cemetery lot


Daffodil -                          Symbol of Desire, Regard
Daisy -                              Floral symbol of Innocence and Hope
Design -                            A photograph or an artist's rendering of a memorial
Diameter -                         The length of a straight line passing through the center of a
                                         circle from side to side
Die -                                 The main part of the monument
Dimension Piece -             Rough material broken to size
Dove -                              Symbolic of The Holy Ghost
Dowel -                            A pin used on horizontal joints when necessary to bind pieces
Drainage Holes -               Holes drilled in vases and bases for carrying off water
Drill -                                Tool used for boring holes in rough material
Drop -                              The distance between the lowest and highest points of an oval
                                        or bevel , serpentine, wash, etc.
Dust Off -                         See “frost”  


Egg-and-Dart -                  A classic moulding decorated with an egg-shaped ornament
                                         alternating with another in the form of a dart
Ends -                               The right and left sides of a die as you stand facing it
Epitaph -                           An inscription or writing engraved on, or suited to be on,
                                         a tomb or monument  


Face -                                The front of a monument or front of a slant-face marker
Facet -                               The flat raised surface between the flutings of an Ionic column
Flat Carving -                     See skin carving
Flute -                                A channel or curved section; often applied to one of a vertical
                                          series of such channels used to decorate columns and pilasters
Fluting -                              Decoration by means of flutes or channels
Front -                               The face of a monument
Frost -                               To remove the polish by sand-blasting
Fruit and Vine -                  Symbolic of the Personality of Jesus Christ
Full Size Detail -                 A drawing of a memorial, or part of same, to the exact size ordered,
                                          showing carving, lettering or members as they will appear when finished  


Gable Top -                       Top of a monument shaped like the roof of a house
                                          Often called Two-way top
Garden Types -                  Benches, sun dials, flower urns and pergolas made for
                                          normal or landscaped surroundings, not necessarily for
                                          cemetery purposes
Gladiolus -                         Symbol of The Incarnation, Preparedness
Gothic Top -                      A convex top which rounds up to a peak on the center line
Granite -                            A hard igneous crystalline rock composed of quartz, feldspar,
                                          hornblende and biotite. Barre granite has same basic elements
                                          as contained in rubies and sapphires
Grapevine -                        Symbol of Religious Truths and Mysteries. The Church, Unity
Grass Marker -                  A flat top marker set approximately level with the ground

Hickey -                            A low, rectangular marker with bevel top of any desired finish,
                                         but with rock pitched sides
High Relief -                      Sculpture in which the projection of the figures from the
                                         background is half or more than half of  the natural circumference
Hollyhock -                       Symbol of Ambition
Horizontal Type -              Wherein the longest side is the joint or bottom 


Laurel -                             Floral symbol for Glory
Ledger -                            A flat memorial placed full length on the ground, which usually
                                         covers the whole grave
Lily -                                 Floral symbol for Easter, Purity, Innocence, Heavenly Bliss,
                                         The Blessed Virgin
Lily of the Valley -            Symbol of Return of Happiness
Line -                               A line marked on the surface by pitching, chipping, or


Nosings On Markers -      The top of a slant face marker; also the perpendicular face
                                         surface below the slant.  On Monuments - A small member
                                         which projects beyond the surface. It is usually found on the
                                         end of the die  


Oak Leaf -                        Symbol of Courage, Strength, Endurance
Obelisk (or Spire) -           A square or tapering shaft of impressive height
Ogee -                              A moulding consisting of two members, the one
                                         concave, the other convex. It has a profile in the
                                         form of the letter S
Olive Branch -                   Symbol of Peace
Ornament -                       A broad term used to describe carving, screening
                                        or other ornamentation
Outline Frosted Letter -     Letters formed by sandblast lines on polished surface with the
                                         polish blown off between the lines
Oval Top Dies -                With the top cut as a part or segment of a circle


Palm -                               Symbol of Victory, Spiritual Victory
Panel -                              A sunken, raised or flush compartment with a moulding or
                                         other margin, as in faces of monuments
Passion Flower -               Symbol of The Anguish of the Crucifixion Faith
Pedestal and Square -       The base or foot of a column, statue, vase, or the like;
                                         the part on which an upright work stands. It consists of
                                         three parts, the base, the die and the cap
Perspective -                     (a) The art of drawing an object on a plane or curved surface
                                         exactly as it appears to the eye. (b) The apparent meeting of
                                         parallel lines as their distance from the observer increases
Pitching -                           The chipping of a rock surface to a line “Pitch to a line,” etc.,
                                         or “rock pitch,” is a die or base that is pitched to a line in all
                                         or part rock finish
Plain Carving -                   See Skin Carving
Plain Die -                         A finished die without ornament or lettering
Plinth -                              A square block serving as a base for a statue, vase, etc.;
                                         the base of a column and often the second base of a three or
                                         four piece memorial
Poinsettia -                        Symbol of The Nativity-Christ
Polished -                         A high gloss finish, when followed by a number as Polished -1-
                                        or Polished -2-. The number refers to the number of sides polished
Poppy -                            Floral symbol of Sleep-Death when looked upon as sleep
Posts -                             Corner boundary markers for cemetery lot
Primrose -                        Symbol of Youth-Sadness
Proportion -                     The relation or adaptation of one portion to another or to the
                                        whole, as respects magnitude; a harmonizing relation between


Rabbet -                          Usually called a check when one inch or less wide and a rabbet
                                        if wider than one inch 
Relief -                             The projection of figures, ornaments, etc. from a background
                                        Kinds of relief are named according to the degree of projection,
                                        as high, bas-relief, etc
Return -                           The continuation of a wall or molding in a different or opposite
Rift -                                The direction of easiest splitting in a granite mass, or the two
                                        parallel surfaces of a block lying in the direction of easiest splitting
                                        The vertical surface at right angles to the head grain
Rolls -                              A short column placed in a horizontal position with ends finished
                                        to any specification
Rope -                             Symbol of Eternity
Rose -                              Floral symbol for Love, Wisdom, Beauty
Rosette -                          An ornament in the form of a conventional rose, or other design
                                        of circular form, used as a decoration
Rough Stock -                  Material as it comes from the quarry before any finishing has
                                        been done
Round Raised Letters -     Letters raised in a half round above the surface
Rounds -                          An edge that is rounded
Rubbing -                         The impression of a carved, lettered or contour surface obtained
                                        by rubbing with crayon over paper when applied to surface 


Saw Block -                     A block of rough material large enough to run through a saw
Scotia -                            A concave moulding
Screen -                           Large monument suggestive of a chancel or sanctuary screen
Screen Carving -              A process of sandblasting through a screen resulting in
                                        symmetrical deep holes and lines like a honeycomb
                                        Sometime called lace carving
Scroll -                             A rotary head with a series of concentric rings, used as a
                                        grinding tool when “ironing”or "emerying”
Scroll -                             An ornamentation generally used in Christian art to symbolize
Sculpture -                       Carving in full relief, statuary, bas-relief
Seam -                             A very fine crack
Seats -                             A type of cemetery memorial, exedra bench
Serif -                              The swelled ends of classic letters, generally called
                                        swell-headed letters
Serpentine -                     A reverse curved surface, derived from the movement of
                                        a serpent, often called Ogee top
Shamrock -                      Symbol of The Holy Trinity, St Patrick. Emblem of Ireland
Shaped Carving -             Carving like sculpture                                               
Screen Background -        Same as above with screen background
Shell Rock -                     A rock surface irregularly broken in deeper and longer
                                        scallops than in regular rock finish
Shot -                              Spherical grinding material of iron or steel used to level
                                        surfaces-used in various sizes
Shoulder -                        A member or projection raised above the surface similar to
Sides -                             See “ends.” Sink-Sunk -Sinkage- Referring to lowered surfaces
Slab-                               A strip of granite axed or polished on one or two long faces
                                       with the edges in the rough state and    usually 8”, 10”, or
                                       12” thick
Slant-                              An extreme bevel usually with a nosing at the top and bottom-
                                       as slant marker
Square-                           A tool used to square up stone
Square Raised Letters-     Letters raised above the surface, edges of letter square
Star-                                Symbol of Birth or Life
Steeled-                           A term sometimes used by competitive manufacturers to describe
                                        a finish somewhat similar to Memokraft
Stock-                             Rough material
Straight Edge-                 A tool of wood or steel with a true edge on long narrow side used
                                       to check accuracy of surfaces
Streak-                           A fine line of imperfect grain, either darker or lighter than the whole
Sword -                          A symbol of Power, Justice, Warfare, Fortitude
Symbolism -                    The language and meaning of flowers and other signs 


Taper -                            A narrowing shape in monument design, the taper usually is
                                        toward the top
Thistle -                            Symbol of Independence-Austerity-Emblem of Scotland
Tomb -                            A large sarcophagus type memorial with the center excavated
                                        to receive a casket or caskets
Top -                               The top surface of a die or monolith
Torch -                            (Upright). Symbol of Eternal Life. (Inverted). Symbol of Death
Tulip -                              Floral symbol of Charity Love
Turned Work -                 Memorial pieces circular in shape, rolls, columns, balls, urns  


Urn -                                 A vase solid or dished to receive flowers. Preferably urn if
                                         solid-vase if hollowed out to receive flowers. Symbol of
                                         Destiny-Eternal life in the hands of the Divine Potter  


V-sunk letter by hand-tool -  Letter sunken by hand-tool
Vase -                                  See Urn
Vertical Joint -                      A vertical surface made ready to join another vertical
Vertical Type -                     Symmetrical upright monument
Vestibule -                           An entrance or passage hall next to the outer door of
                                            a mausoleum
Violet -                                Floral symbol for Modesty, Faithfulness 


Wash -                                The exposed part of the upper edges of a base when given
                                           a slope to shed water. A narrow beveled surface
Water Lily -                        Symbol of Charity
Wild Rose -                        Symbol of Love, Simplicity
Wings -                               Supporting stones that extend from either side of a central die,
                                           usually to form a memorial of the screen type
Wreath -                             Symbol of Remembrance. Wreath of Roses: Heavenly bliss,
                                           Of Laurel: Reward, Victory, Of  Olive: Peace, Of Ivy: Conviviality,
                                           Of Oak: Strength, Of Bay: Mourning, Of Willow: Bereavement,
                                           Mourning. Of Yew: Immortality