from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of execution, among the ancient Persians, in which the victim is fastened into a hollow boat, force-fed and slathered in honey and milk and exposed to insects until the victim's death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ancient mode of punishing criminals among the Persians, by confining the victim in a trough, with his head and limbs smeared with honey or the like, and exposed to the sun and to insects until he died.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A barbarous punishment inflicted among the Persians, by confining the victim in a hollow tree.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The ancient Persians developed a gruesome practice called scaphism, which involved force-feeding a person milk and honey, lashing him to a boat or hollow tree trunk, and then allowing flies to infest the victim's anus and increasingly gangrenous flesh.

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  • In my more barbaric moments I toy with the idea of bringing back the death penalty for crimes like this - but not execution by hanging - I was thinking execution by scaphism.



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  • Oh death where is thy sting?

    May 14, 2010

  • JM cannot quite believe that there is a word for death by being covered in honey and left in the hot sun = scaphism.

    February 1, 2009

  • Bloody hell, who THINKS of this stuff?! *is mad that anyone ever did this to another person*

    (originally, mistakenly posted on Reesetee's list page instead of here. Oops!)

    October 15, 2007

  • Boy, I'll say! Ugh 'n eewww.

    October 15, 2007

  • Evil. Absolutely evil.

    October 15, 2007