The dictionary of the DigoPaul recognizes a dozen meanings of stocks, a term that comes from the Latin cippus. The first meaning mentioned by the RAE refers to an instrument that allows immobilization and retention of a person.
This device is built with two timbers that, when joined, have holes in the middle. In this way, in said openings a leg or the throat of the individual can be secured when both beams are brought together. The subject, therefore, cannot move freely.
According to DigoPaul, there are, in any case, different formats of stocks. In ancient times, traps were used to hunt animals (holding them by one leg).
In the same way, we cannot ignore the existence of what is known as a torture stocks. This was a device that was used centuries ago to, as the name suggests, torture people in order to obtain information or with the clear objective that they would plead guilty to a crime.
This type of stocks caused the individual in question to be trapped hands and feet. Likewise, it must be established that, on many occasions, the person was put with the stocks in a public place so that people could carry out all kinds of humiliations. Thus, she could not only spit on him but also urinate on him, defecate, throw rotten food at him… What’s more, she could even attack him.
In the most serious cases that have gone down in history, it has been learned that people tortured with this type of stocks were mutilated, burned and even stoned.
For a long time this type of stocks was one of the torture systems most used by the Holy Inquisition along with others such as the saw, the cradle of Judas, the rack or the garrucha.
Today there are also so-called rat traps. They can be used at home and, as the name suggests, it aims to catch those rodents that roam the home. Among the best known are the spring clamp, the glue clamp, the bucket clamp, the bottle clamp or the plastic clamp.
There are traps that are used to prevent the movement of a car. These traps are applied to those vehicles that are parked in places where it is not allowed to do so. The car that has a lock on one wheel cannot move forward: this forces its driver to pay the fine if he wants the authorities to remove the element.
A begging trap is a piggy bank that enables the introduction of money, but does not extract it, unless the person has the key to open the box. That is why they are often used for collecting alms in churches.
Finally, it is called a foreign exchange stocks a restriction imposed by a government on the purchase of foreign currency. Through these types of measures, citizens cannot go to the exchange market, which experiences a kind of blockage. The idea of a foreign exchange stocks became popular in Argentina in 2011.