Flagellation (Latin flagellum, whip), flogging, whipping or lashing is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o nine tails, the sjambok, etc. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment; however, it can also be submitted to willingly, or performed on oneself, in religious or sadomasochistic contexts.The strokes are usually aimed at the unclothed back of a person, in certain settings it can be extended to other corporeal areas. For a moderated subform of flagellation, described as bastinado, the soles of a persons bare feet are used as a target for beating (see foot whipping).In some circumstances the word flogging is used loosely to include any sort of corporal punishment, including birching and caning. However, in British legal terminology, a distinction was drawn (and still is, in one or two colonial territories) between flogging (with a cat-o-nine-tails) and whipping (formerly with a whip, but since the early 19th century with a birch). In Britain these were both abolished in 1948.
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