View Full Version : Cpl. punishment

December 4th, 2009, 07:13 AM
This thing has bugged me for a long time. Why corporal punishment is called corporal punishment? What does "corporal" mean in corporal punishment? Also why capital punishment is called capital punishment?

Edit: Ah, find some definition from merriam webster

Main Entry: 2corporal
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin corporalis, from corpor-, corpus body — more at midriff
Date: 14th century

1 obsolete : corporeal, physical
2 : of, relating to, or affecting the body <corporal punishment>

December 4th, 2009, 07:29 AM
capital in capital punishment means that the government is directly envolved in the actions againt the guilty.

Flying caveman
December 4th, 2009, 07:33 AM
Capital is from latin also. head

December 4th, 2009, 07:45 AM

December 4th, 2009, 07:47 AM
Capital is from latin also. head

As is Punishment (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=penal). It's quite fascinating to look words up in an etymological dictionary to see where they came from, and their Indo-European roots.


December 4th, 2009, 07:51 AM
Capital is from latin also. head

government is the controlling aspect of a group of people who define themselves under a set of laws. A head controls a body. No head, no bodily control. So in retrospect a government is a head as a group can be called a body.

I really need some sleep.

December 4th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Corporal, from the Latin Corpus meaning the body, i.e. a punishment which is applied to the body.

I think capital may have been derived from the fact that beheading or decapitating was a comon form of capital punishment and therefore the head reference?

December 4th, 2009, 02:16 PM
"Capital" is based on the Latin word "capitalis", which just means "of the head". "Capital punishment" refers to the practice of beheading an accused person.