A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

Shh! Don't say "toilet"! (potential for gross-out, but please don't go there)

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We all use different words at different times, I think, but what are your most common ways to talk about that place where you go when nature calls?

In what situations would you use a different word? Are you blunt or euphemistic?

(I was inspired by EllenS's comments, " Also, it's a quirk but to me the term "restroom" sounds like a public facility. "bathroom" or "powder room" feel more naturaltome. And in my part of the country, nobody would ever refer to the "toilet" unless they were talking about cleaning it!" I, for one, would never think of saying "powder room.")

If you don't mind including your region/age/gender, I think that might make it more interesting.

Born and raised in Canada, now live in the US.  47 YO.

In my part of Canada, washroom is pretty much the norm and the more polite term.  Otherwise bathroom is perfectly acceptable.  Very rarely do people say, "Can I use your toilet?".  It is usually may I use your Washroom?

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath:
*wispers* We call it the Dunny   or even *gasp* the LOO  ;D

Most people just ask me where the Toilet is.

I know there's a thing in England of calling the whole room "the toilet." I remember being surprised by it when reading Harry Potter. It's not so much that they're being more blunt by talking about the actual throne rather than the room, it's that "toilet" is the name of the room over there, I think. (And really, it comes from a word that means something more like "grooming," so I think we USians are the weird ones to have attached the word so firmly to the actual bowl.)

I'm in the Midwestern US. I say "restroom" in a public place or "bathroom" in a private home if I'm asking where it is. There is a joke among some of my friends of calling it literally "the euphemism." With really close friends, I sometimes just tell them I'll be right back because I need to pee (though if I'm doing the other thing, I don't announce that).

I had a grade school teacher who said "washroom." I wonder if she was originally from Canada!

In the UK, asking for the bathroom would make people wonder why you needed a bath.

The most usual word is probably "loo", whether at someone's home or in a restaurant, etc.  Using the word "toilet" isn't as common as it was. In public situations--  eg pubs, restaurants, shopping centres, halls -- you'd be most likely to ask "Where are the loos?" or possible "Where is the Ladies/Gents?" I don't think the words restroom or powder room are much in use.


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