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In North America, the word "spanking" has often been used as a synonym for an official paddling in school, and sometimes even as a euphemism for the formal corporal punishment of adults in an institution.
In British English, most dictionaries define "spanking" as being given only with the open hand. In American English, dictionaries define spanking as being administered with either the open hand or an implement such as a paddle. Thus, the standard form of corporal punishment in US schools (licks with a paddle) is often referred to as a spanking, whereas its pre-1997 English equivalent (strokes of the cane) would never have been so described.
The word "licks" is also a common term in West-Indian countries, especially Trinidad & Tobago. It usually refers to any sort of spanking or beating or really any sort of physical punishment. Licks can involve "switches" or small tree branches, pieces of cocoyea, or basically any sort of object near by. These can also include belts, spoons, brooms, and even rolling pins.
In Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the word "smacking" is generally used in preference to "spanking" when describing striking with an open hand, rather than with an implement. Whereas a spanking is invariably administered to the bottom, "smacking" is less specific and may refer to slapping the child's hands, arms or legs as well as its bottom.