Casket vs coffin

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A coffin is a box or container in which a body is buried. A coffin is generally rectangular but has six sides, the widest part contains the head and torso and the narrow part contains the legs. This construction is designed to save wood, therefore, coffins are less expensive. The word coffin comes from the Greek word kophinos, which means basket.

A casket is a box or container in which a body is buried. A casket is a rectangular box with four sides. The word casket originally signified a small box in which jewelry was stored. Some time around the middle of the nineteenth century, the funeral industry began to use the word casket euphemistically to describe a burial box. Remember, while coffins and caskets have the same use and the words are often used interchangeably, a coffin is a six-sided burial container and a casket is a four-sided burial container.


‘We are able to accommodate the service if the family so wish, and the funeral director would then take the coffin to another crematorium for cremation after the service.’ (The Daily Mail)

Hitched to a 1920s Model-T Ford was an open coffin on a trailer hitch with a full-sized doll inside representing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (The Buffalo News)

“It arrived in Jerusalem in an anthropoid coffin decorated with images of gods and inscriptions identifying Alex as a high-ranking priest from the Egyptian city of Akhmim [300 miles south of present-day Cairo].” (Newsweek Magazine)

The American flag, Cathy Scoppo said, had been draped over her father’s casket after his death. (The Washington Post)

Leading the way were four men carrying a white casket, followed by a group of about 30 people from various Savannah-based anti-violence organizations, including LB4 and After, Mothers of Murdered Sons of Savannah, Moms Demand Action, The Bullhorn Crew and People Against Killing United. (The Savannah Morning News)

But in Alabama, only licensed funeral directors can sell “funeral merchandise” such as caskets, shrouds and urns. (The Orange County Register)