The terrible origin of the term "whipping boy"

Originally published at: The terrible origin of the term "whipping boy" | Boing Boing

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Makes sense. Obviously the solution can never be “Hey, lets just not beat any children!” /s

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“spare the rod, spoil the child”

One of my crazy foster gulags had that up on the wall as you entered the house/prison.

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That actually checks out

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I remember reading this book The Whipping Boy - Wikipedia as a child so I guess I always knew what a whipping boy was - in my small kid mind I assumed everyone did too

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I know that’s the historical “story” about it, but is there actually historical evidence of it occurring written with first person sources? Everything I’ve seen are stories or histories written long after the supposed incidents took place.

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Doesn’t mention that pushy parents would want their sprog to be a whipping boy. It was not unusual that the family would get a peerage or even a title of it.

William Murray for example got a freaking earldom after being Charlie the first’s whipping boy while being born a commoner!

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Whipping Boy was also a '80s/90s Dublin rock group…

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This was my reaction, too. It has a whif of “Just So Story” about it - not saying it isn’t true, but I’d love to see some primary sources

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I remember being assigned that book in 2nd or 3rd grade.

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Well this sucks. I was so sure that the term “whipping boy” had an entirely wholesome, pleasant, and G-rated origin.

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It’s called a switch birch rod (I stand corrected)…

I remember reading this as a child…

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That same article states

. There is little contemporary evidence for the existence of whipping boys, and evidence that some princes were indeed whipped by their tutors, although Nicholas Orme suggests that nobles might have been beaten less often than other pupils.[3] Some historians regard whipping boys as entirely mythical; others suggest they applied only in the case of a boy king, protected by divine right, and not to mere princes.[4]

This is a great and terrible revelation? The concept should already be familiar from reading The Prince and the Pauper and other pseudo historical fiction.

For the practice of corporal punishment in schools, a good reference might be Roald Dahl’s Boy.

Now, if there was historical documentation that the “whipping-boy” was more than allegorical, sure, that would be of interest.

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Whipping Boy were great. Felt I should post a bit of a better version.

Its funny how many of the Irish bands on Dave Fanning or “No Disco” used a violin or cello in their hit songs. It was cliché for a while.

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“ seeing a friend punished would provide an equivalent motivation not to repeat the offence”

But does that even work with lizard people?

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The whole plot of Kurasawa’s The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945) hinges on the supposed inability of a lesser to whip a person of royalty.

They had been traveling through enemy territory with a royal dressed incognito as a commoner. When confronted by hostile officials, the royal’s samurai bodyguard whips his putative “servant” to prove his commoner status. (Later, the samurai offers to kill himself for this innovative way of saving the royal’s life.)

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No pain, no gain?

I dunno, I had some people who I thought were my friend, or those who called me their friend…

http://www.andreazuvich.com/history/fake-history-the-story-of-the-whipping-boy-a-guest-post-by-leanda-de-lisle/

The author, a historian, says that accounts of “whipping boys” are probably propaganda, disseminated by critics of the divine rights of kings.

The stories of Charles I’s and Edward VI’s whipping boys are, I believe, based on nothing more than a literary phantom. It was conjured in the aftermath to the English publication of James’s tracts on divine right kingship, with their assertion that no subject could legitimately raise their hand in violence against God’s anointed, and this is their true origin.

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It is a birch rod.
It was still a legal punishment in late 20th century Europe (Isle of Man).

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