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Severe PunishmentPlay
Historically used as a severe penalty, often for betrayal or treason. SlideDuring medieval times, to behead a spy was commonplace.
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Not LiteralPlay
Sometimes used metaphorically to imply a complete and sudden removal. SlideThe company decided to behead its underperforming division.
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Violent ConnotationPlay
Conveys a sense of violence, so it's inappropriate in casual contexts. SlideThe film's villain threatens to behead the hero.