----- ............Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery! Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told........... -----

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coffin or Casket

Which word do you use? Coffin or casket? Are they one in the same?


1. the box or case in which the body of a dead person is placed for burial; casket.

coffin. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coffin (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Word Origin & History
coffin - early 14c., from O.Fr. cofin "sarcophagus," earlier "basket, coffer," from L. cophinus "basket," from Gk. kophinos "a basket," of uncertain origin. Funeral sense in Eng. is 1520s; before that it was literal and had also a meaning of "pie crust." Coffin nail "cigarette" is slang from 1880.

coffin. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coffin (accessed: May 25, 2010).


1. a coffin.
2. a small chest or box, as for jewels.

casket. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/casket (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Word Origin & History
casket - 1461, "small box for jewels, etc.," possibly formed as a dim. of Eng. cask, or from Norm.-Fr. cassette, from M.Fr. casset (see cassette). Meaning of "coffin" is Amer.Eng., probably euphemistic, first attested 1849.

casket. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/casket (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Hutchinson News
2/21/1900 Page 6


  1. Cute, Amy! :-)

    I go for coffin. And I never would call a jewelry box a casket!

  2. Here in New Orleans it's always a coffin, because of the Casket(cassette)girls.

    In the early 1700s local men complained that the only women in the new city were "of ill-repute"- which was true, since France kept emptying their jails of prostitutes and shipping them off.

    So the Ursuline nuns brought young orphan girls over to raise to be proper ladies and wives. They arrived at the docks with everything they owned in little caskets and were paraded through town and beyond the convent gates where they were guaranteed to remain virgins until handed off to their new husbands. (who, presumably, had to keep playing with the ladies of the night until then...)

    Believe it or not you still hear about the Casket girls around town 300 years later!


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