Dunce cap

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From "Final Exam", a film by User:Jameslovebirch. Video clip.
The Dunce, drawing by Julian Guile.

A dunce cap or dunce's hat is a tall, pointed hat, traditionally worn as a mark of shame by children in school who have done poorly in their schoolwork, or have misbehaved, as a form of psychological punishment. The word dunce originated in the 16th century as term of abuse; it is a synonym for one incapable of learning.

Design and use[edit]


Externally hosted image on Boyz Being Boyz  Warning: 18+
Dunce cap being used by C. of Sweden

Dunce caps are traditionally white cone-shaped paper hats with the word "Dunce" or just the letter "D" written on the front. They were usually improvised by the teacher by folding a large sheet of white construction paper or even a newspaper.

A student made to wear a dunce cap was usually required to sit on a special punishment stool (often a high stool, like a barstool), in a form of corner time. Another common variant was to make the student stand, instead of sit, on a bench, stool or chair, so that they will be better seen (and thus more shamed).

In Europe (e.g., Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands) and Mexico, the common 18th and 19th century variant of the dunce cap was the donkey cap – a cap with donkey's ears to symbolize stupidity -.

Roleplay and fetish films[edit]

Dunce caps are now very rarely used in actual schools, but may be used in school-based roleplay scenes, and in spanking stories with historical settings. The cap is also used as a costume item in underground fetish films about schoolgirls who receive corporal punishment.

The mainstream comedy film The House Bunny (2008) uses the cap in a fetish fantasy context. During a photo-shoot for a sexy sorority girl calendar, a semi-nude Rumor Willis strikes a "naughty schoolgirl" pose on a stool wearing the cap and holding a ruler. A bonus feature included on the DVD release shows some spanking poses not seen in the film. (See photo.)

Various pin-up artists in the 1940s and '50s such as Gil Elvgren have also used the cap in a playfully risque manner. (See illustration.)

Spanking videos[edit]

  • The Class Dunce (BadTushy); a schoolgirl in a dunce cap gets paddled.
  • Final Exam (Sting-Ray Prods.), amateur video of cap-wearing schoolgirl punished in class (video clip).
  • Pop Quiz Punishments (Miss Ruby Marks, 2023), Becky, Marlie, Sally, Miss Victoria, photos
  • School Days in "Paradise" - YouTube video clip ending with dunce cap punishment.

Gallery 1 (art)[edit]

Gallery 2 (photos)[edit]

See also[edit]

Dunce cap and carpet beater from Final Exam video.