Author Topic: Shh! Don't say "toilet"! (potential for gross-out, but please don't go there)  (Read 11254 times)

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jmarvellous

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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.

sparksals

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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

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*wispers* We call it the Dunny   or even *gasp* the LOO  ;D

Most people just ask me where the Toilet is.

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Yvaine

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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!

veryfluffy

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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.
   

Rohanna

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Bathroom or washroom, though any of the above would be understood. Powder room would seem a tad "twee" here, and toilet would be a little blunt and probably raise an eyebrow. Restroom has definate business connetations - a "restroom" is found in a gas station or mall mostly.
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Yvaine

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Bathroom or washroom, though any of the above would be understood. Powder room would seem a tad "twee" here, and toilet would be a little blunt and probably raise an eyebrow. Restroom has definate business connetations - a "restroom" is found in a gas station or mall mostly.

Oh, and there's also ladies' room and men's room, also more for public than private bathrooms. But unlike in England, "room" is always appended to the end--it's not just the Ladies'. Though I've always kind of liked the sound of that.

jmarvellous

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When asking an employee for directions in public, I'll say, "Excuse me, where is the ladies' room?" just to differentiate from the (usually separate) men's facilities. I don't make a habit of mentioning it to my companions, but if I must, it's restroom, bathroom, or toilet/stall if referring to the unit, such as a whispered warning to a girlfriend, "Avoid the third stall, there's no toilet paper!"

I'll ask, "Where's your bathroom?" in a private home. Or tell my guests our bathroom is upstairs.

Hmmmmm

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48 YO, Texas...in most cases I refer to it as restroom if asking to use it while a guest.  If an overnight guest is visiting, I will say I put clean towels out in the bathroom or I'll tell the kids they need to go clean their bathroom.

Piratelvr1121

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I call it all sorts of different things, depending on my mood, really.  I'm in my 30's and living in Maryland, and the toilet in our house is often referred to by just about every word there is for the room. 

Loo, potty, latrine, the head, bathroom, little girl's room, little boy's room, commode, throne, etc. 
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RingTailedLemur

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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.

I agree.

There is also "the little girls' room".

WillyNilly

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IME, in NY most people say "bathroom" in a home and "restroom" or "ladies room" (or "men's room") in a business, although "bathroom" wouldn't be unusual even in a business.
But I think most people would totally understand and not really blink an eye at "washroom", "powder room","the head", or "the john". "The john" is usually said by men, and usually in bars (or by men who frequent bars).

"Toilet" would be weird to hear, as would "water closet" which I've heard is used in parts of Europe (and certainly I recall seeing doors labelled "WC" which were in fact restrooms). In fact "water closet" or "WC" might legitimately not be understood at all, same with "loo".  And as far as "loo" I think if someone without an accent said it here, many people would internally think "[eyeroll] geez a bit too much BBC America?"

Personally I can't stand the word "potty" often used by people when speaking to children or (IMO) when condescending to adults.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 11:43:38 AM by WillyNilly »

camlan

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Originally from Boston, grew up all over the place thanks to a military parent.

Mostly, it's "Where's the bathroom?" in a private home, "Ladies'" or "Ladies' Room" out in public places.

My mom's family uses "facilities." As in, "I need to use the facilities before we leave."

Older family members say "the john." I don't hear that much any more.
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EllenS

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My mom's family uses "facilities." As in, "I need to use the facilities before we leave."


My family also says "the facilites" as an in-joke.  We also used to have an in-joke when on road trips, where my mom would say, "I need to stop for some tourist information" - since that is often on highway signs designating a rest stop.  At home growing up it was usually the "bathroom" or "powder room" in a house and "the ladies room" or "the restroom" in public.

With close friends, I have also used "loo", "the ladies" and even "the W.C.".  But I am admittedly rather twee and definitely watch way too much BBC America - sometimes while knitting tea cozies. (yes, really)

I am trying to break the habit of calling it the "potty", having recently completed potty training 2 little kids.

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Judah

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Lived in California all my life.

In a business I'd as for the ladies room or restroom. In a home it's a bathroom. A water closet refers to a bathroom that has only a toilet and sink, usually in the most public part of the house, though I'd never ask for the "water closet" because not everyone has one. The toilet is the actual fixture you eliminate in.
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