burial and funeral

Discussion in 'English Only' started by happyday, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. happyday Senior Member


    Do these words have similar meanings? Are they interchangeable?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. I think that 'burial' by itself, is the act of putting the body into a grave and 'funeral' is a ceremony that has general meaning and usage.
  3. happyday Senior Member

    Thank you, SheDevil. Now I can see: there may be a funeral without burial (in case of cremation, for example).
  4. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    And there can be a burial (aka enterrement: did I spell that right?) without a funeral.
  5. katie_here Senior Member

    Interment is the right spelling :) It's when the body is put into the ground
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    And you can have an interment of someone who has been cremated; there just isn't much left to inter.
  7. Nikola Senior Member

    English - American
    That is the French spelling.
  8. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    Oui :) ...
  9. mlocati New Member

    Are interment and burial exaclty the same? I'm translating a genealogical web site and I've found both...
  10. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Try reading the thread, mlocati. It gives you the answer.
  11. mlocati New Member

    Thank you Thomas for your response, Thomas. But I need some more clarification here...
    Funeral: is the cerimony
    Burial: is the act of putting the body in the grave
    Interment: is the act of putting the body under the ground

    Is all that right?

    Thank you again!
  12. Natalisha Senior Member

    I consider you should reread Post 6. :)
  13. mlocati New Member

    Yes, I've read it, and understood that the body to be put under the ground can also be the ashes that remains after a cremation...
  14. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    While the differences between the terms have been adequately explained above they are generally used interchangeably. In practice 'burial' would be the cruder (or more down to earth, excuse the pun) expression while 'funeral' would be the more polite expression.
  15. mlocati New Member

    So, for my needs (difference between burial and interment), I can consider burial the same as funeral, and interment the actual act to store the body (of what it remains of that...)...
    Thank you all!
  16. mplsray Senior Member

    I don't know what your needs are, so the following may be irrelevant to you.

    A person can be buried after two ceremonies, one a funeral, at a separate place from the grave, and one by the grave.

    A person can be buried without a ceremony at the grave, after having had a funeral, and of course can be buried without a funeral as well.

    A person who has been put in a tomb has been interred or entombed, but not buried. (Hence the riddle referring to Ulysses S. Grant, former US president: Question: Who is buried in Grant's tomb? Correct answer: No one is buried in Grant's tomb.) The etymology of inter (ultimately from Latin words meaning "in earth") is irrelevant to the fact that the word can be used for entombment.
  17. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In general if you are asked to attend a "funeral" there will be a burial also. And because the two are so frequently linked many people will use "funeral" to cover both the burial and the funeral.

    The bereaved are not usually very fussy about language.
  18. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    It is often the case that the two ceremonies are held in different locations these days, however. A funeral is in a church, chapel or a mortuary. The burial takes place at the gravesite.

    I recently attended a funeral where people were invited to the burial but were also given the option of going straight to the reception from the church.
  19. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Sorry to respond to my own post, but when an urn is placed in a mausoleum or other above-ground location is not called "interment". One word for it is "inurnment", which covers both the placement of the remains in the urn and the placement of the urn in its resting place.

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