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When Shakespeare speaks of a coffin-custard, he is not referring to the results of a botched embalming job but of the common pastry-covered pie. The Greek kophinos was a lidded basket which, thanks to the transmutations of usage, became the lidded box used to store the after-effects of our having lived. Printers used to call the frame which holds the type a coffin, perhaps signifying their dread of early censorship laws.