The ferule (pronounced IPA: [ˈfɛruːl], the anglicized form of ferula, "rod") is a wooden implement designed to strike the hand of a person for punishment. It was mostly used in schools by teachers to punish unruly students, striking the disk part into the palm of the student. The corresponding verb is to ferule, and a punishment with a ferule is called a feruling. Another english term for it is palmer.
Its business end is a disk, approximately the size of a hockey puck, connected to a long handle. It is much like an improved version of the wooden spoon. The main difference from the typical U.S. spanking paddle is the size and shape of the business end. Ferules were not designed to be used on the buttocks, although that would also be possible and ferules may also have been sometimes used in that fashion.
In England, ferules were used for school corporal punishment until the 19th century. They could be made either of wood or occasionally also of hard leather. The business end was wider than the handle end, and could be circular, elliptical, or pear-shaped. Sometimes it featured a hole in the middle which increased the pain and could raise blisters. (more...)
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