Cupella is evidently the diminutive of cupa, explained to mean "urn," "sepulchral chest." This sense is a derivative one, from its classical meaning of a large cask, butt, or vat. It appears in pagan inscriptions but rarely. The use of the word survived until later times. The idea has been propounded that we may find in cupella, as a place of Christian burial, the etymology of the word capella, chapel, which has so long perplexed philologists, and of which no satisfactory derivation has ever yet been discovered. The architectural term cupola is another form of the same root.