I am a fan of Chross’ guide to spanking word origins and so it was a pleasant surprise to find a vanilla word that might have a spanking origin, disputed though that origin might be, especially as the ruler is still a common spanking toy among adult spanking enthusiasts.
The more regularly accepted origin of the word “Ruler” is that it is a bastardization of the Latin word “Regulare” but I find the alternative version of the words origin at least as plausible as that, if not more so.
The alternative origin is that “Ruler” is a shortened version of the word “Ferula”. This word although it originates from the use of the rods of the plant Ferula communis as a CP instrument, has been applied to many different spanking implements over time, as the Romans tended to use the word in the same way that we use “Spanking” now, to cover all forms of spanking, no matter what tool is being used for the job. The theory is that a long flat piece of wood, known as a Ferula, was used to discipline unruly pupils but it was also useful for drawing straight lines and in later times had units of measurement added to it to increase it’s usefulness in the classroom.
This all leads to the question “Which came first?”. Was it that a measuring/line drawing instrument proved useful for Corporal Punishment or was it that an instrument of Corporal punishment became useful for drawing straight lines and measuring things?