Where does the term “cucking stool” come from and What does cucking stool mean?

The term “cucking stool” is often confused with the later and much less immodest ducking stool.

The earlier device dates back, in England, at least to the eleventh century and was sometimes disguised under the Latin cathedra stercoris of the same meaning.

When used, as it generally was, for the punishment of viragoes, and perhaps then modified in form, it was often merely called a scolding stool.

Actually the cucking stool was a crudely constructed commode, upon which the culprit was securely fastened and exposed to the jeers of the townspeople for such length of time as the magistrate might determine.

The punishment might be meted out also to dishonest bakers or other tradesmen. (See also ducking stool.)

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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