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Mysteries of vernacular: Hearse - Jessica Oreck

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Today, we recognize the word hearse as a vehicle that carries a coffin to a funeral. Jessica Oreck explains how this word has, at various times, described a wolf, a rake, and a frame, eventually landing at its meaning today.

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A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, respecting, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor.Hirpus was the name used by a group of warrior priests living on the Soratte mountain in the ancient times, devoted to mystical practices. The word is Oscan for wolf, an animal closely related to Mars in ancient Italic religions.A hearse is a funerary vehicle used to carry a coffin from a church or funeral home to a cemetery. In the funeral trade, hearses are often called funeral coaches. Here's an online retail store where you can buy anything relating to a hearse. Hearse's also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

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  • Animator Jessica Oreck

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