A dunce cap, also variously known as a dunce hat, dunce's cap, or dunce's hat, is a pointed hat. In popular culture, it is typically made of paper and often marked with a D or the word "dunce", and given to schoolchildren to wear as punishment by public humiliation for misbehavior and, as the name implies, stupidity. Frequently the 'dunce' was made to stand in the corner, facing the wall as a result of some bad behaviour, usually rudeness or mean threatening actions. Depending on the teacher, they might have to stand for as long as half an hour. Throwing spitballs, passing notes to boys or pulling on a girl's hair could prompt the measure. Class clowns were frequently admonished with the dunce cap. Only in some locations was it used against those who failed during studies – it usually was more a measure to teach manners and how to be a responsible individual. In modern society dunce caps are extremely rare, and are frowned upon.
A very similar practice on the European continent was a paper headdress known as donkey's ears, as a symbol of 'asinine' stupidity.
Other articles related to "dunce cap, dunce":
... referring to his supporters by the word 'dunce', which meant 'stupid or dull witted' ... According to the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition), "dunce cap" did not enter the English language until after the term "dunce" was so transformed ... recorded mention of the related term "dunce table," a table provided for duller or poorer students "dunce cap" appears first in the 1840 novel The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens ...
... Also, a Dunce Cap is in play in Round Two Once the question is posed, an in-studio contestant can hit their buzzer if he/she thinks that his/her opponent ... person hitting his/her buzzer usually placed the Dunce Cap on his/her opponent ... The "dunce" is allowed to hear the question in its entirety, and must then answer the question within 5 seconds ...
... Tuffy immediately retreats to the stool in the corner and dons the dunce cap ... Jerry, who is now the pupil and wearing the dunce cap, angrily shakes his head ... He removes the dunce cap from Jerry and kisses his cheek including jingling his given bell,much to Jerry's chagrin ...
Famous quotes containing the words cap and/or dunce:
“I put a Phrygian cap on the old dictionary.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)
“A sure proportion of rogue and dunce finds its way into every school and requires a cruel share of time, and the gentle teacher, who wished to be a Providence to youth, is grown a martinet, sore with suspicions; knows as much vice as the judge of a police court, and his love of learning is lost in the routine of grammars and books of elements.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)