The word coffin and casket are oftentimes interchanged in order to describe a box used to bury a dead body in. Though the general purpose is similar, there indeed small differences between the two.
Difference Between Coffin And Casket
Since the early 16th century, the term coffin has been used to describe a container holding dead bodies for burial. Typically, the shape of a coffin resembles the shape of a body. It has 6 or 8 sides. It is wider at the top for the shoulders and decreases gradually in width toward the opposite end where the feet are placed.
On the other hand, the word casket was used originally to describe a box which is used to store jewelry along with other small valuable items. In the middle of 19th century, it became somewhat synonymous with coffin. A casket is a 4-sided rectangular box; however, if it used for burying people, it contains a split-lid for viewing purposes.
The word casket was adopted as an alternative word for coffin since it was deemed less offensive, most especially when morticians and undertakers began operating funeral parlors instead of mortuaries. Moreover, the shape of a casket was believed to be less dismal since it didn’t depict the shape of a dead body.
Did you know that a coffin can also be called a pall? This term is used when a coffin transports a deceased person. It also refers to the cloth that is used to cover a coffin.
Trivia Info Resource: expressioncoffins.com.au