Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a coffin and a casket?
The word coffin and casket are synonymous with each other and either are used quite frequently. They are both boxes basically for the remains of your loved ones for either burial or cremation.
The word coffin originates from the Latin word cophinus which means casket, which is the latin version of the greek “basket.” Coffins are more widely used in the United Kingdom. The coffin is more hexagonal in shape where it has six sides. The Coffin is normally wider at the shoulder and arms and tapers down at the legs. The reason for this is it is smaller and uses less wood than a traditional casket. Depending on how much money the deceased had they may or may not have it lined with a nice fabric and have lace or other decorative pieces add on to it. The coffin lid is normally only made up of one piece.
The word casket was originally regarded as a jewelry box. The morticians started using the word casket as a euphemism for coffin. When taking care of a loved ones remains the morticians try to give it as much care as possible. The word coffin seemed a little more morbid than casket so they stopped using that word and began to use the word casket.
The casket is more rectangular in shape. It only has four sides instead of the six on a coffin. The reason for doing this is also to not show or put emphasis on the shape of a deceased body. Again the morticians wanted to give great praise and care to a deceased remains. A casket lid is normally made into two pieces. This way most of the deceased body can be covered but have a part of the lid open to show the face of your loved one. In the funeral industry this is called a “Half-Couch.” Some casket lids are made up of just a one piece lid to show the whole body. This is called a “Full-Couch.” Many caskets today have either hidden drawers or a tube that is build into the casket to house memorabilia that will be buried with the remains of their loved one.
Caskets and Coffins can be made up of several materials such as: wood, steel, stainless steel, copper, and bronze. They also do have eco-friendly caskets that are made of paper and bamboo. The interiors are mainly lined with either a nice crepe or velvet which comes in a different colors. They also can come in a variety of sizes from little infants and children to larger oversize individuals. The oversize and child caskets are more custom orders.
Overall, casket and coffin can be used synonymous with each other but they are regarded more as the casket for a four sided “basket” and a coffin for a six sided “basket” for the remains of the deceased.