• 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 monument
  • 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 concave
  • 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 together
  • 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 sandblasting


  • 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 parts


  • 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 direction
  • 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 immortality.
  • 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 nosing
  • 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 Atheism
  • 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 surface
  • 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *