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Author Topic: Shh! Don't say "toilet"! (potential for gross-out, but please don't go there)  (Read 36452 times)

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Mad Goat Woman

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Aussie here. I call it the loo, the toilet, or when in public, the ladies.

Captains Flat, Australia


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Mid-40's, American, Pacific Northwest:

Out in public:  "Washroom" (FWIW, I was friends with someone from Canada for many years)  or "ladies' room"
In a private home:  "Bathroom"
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson


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I grew up in the Philippines where we call the toilet either "kubeta" or "baño".  However, due to the long association with the US, most people use, in English, "comfort room" or most commonly "C.R" for short.  You could be in the deepest, most mountainous region, and people will still know what a CR is.

Quick anecdote: on a family trip to Japan, my 15 yr old cousin had to go really bad so I (9 at the time) and my 10 yr old brother went with her into a department store in search of the facilities. We asked a confused saleslady using every name we could think of, "washroom? watercloset? bathroom?".  In a moment of desperation my cousin even started mimicking toilet sounds.  I think we finally got somewhere when the saleslady brought out a pad and pen and we drew a toilet.   

We later asked our tour guide what we should have said.  Turns out the magic word would have been "toilet", which we three kids in our ignorance had never used. 

I live in Canada now and my friends and I also use the terms "wizzorium" and "crapeteria".

Another toilet story that makes me giggle is the one about the musician who, in reply to a critic's bad review, wrote back "I am sitting in the smallest room in my house.  I have your review before me.  Pretty soon it will be behind me."   >:D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 06:55:42 AM by gmama »


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I grew up in the Philippines where we call the toilet either "kubeta" or "baño". 
If I’m right, there’s a town in the Philippines called Los Baños.  Plenty of scope for juvenile humour there...


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48 YO, 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.

That is my usage as well. Mine is the bathroom, anyone else's, be it someone's home or a shopping center is a restroom. I'm a military brat so my speech isn't particularly regional.


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I was taught to say 'lavatory' and never say 'toilet'.  :o When in a public place, it is the 'ladies' '.  With friends, it is the 'loo' or 'bog' or something like 'I am going to take a leak' or 'going for a wee' but it depends on the friend. 


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When I've been in UK and Ireland, I generally ask where the Loo is or the Ladies Room is if it is not obvious to me as those are the terms my friends who live there tend to use.  In the states, I hear people use different terms like Ladies or Mens Room, bathroom, etc. but its rare to hear loo used here.

Team HoundMom

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I usually say "The Can" or "Le Pissoir." <-- my dad said that one once, apparently it's from an old Paul Newman movie.

If I'm in public I say "the ladies' room", or "the gents" if I'm referring to the men's room.  In someone's home I ask for "the bathroom."

I hear "the restroom" in the US most often and British people tend to say "the loo" or "the toilet".


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I'm Australian. At home, I'll say "toilet" or "loo". When at a friend's house, or just generally in public, I'll say "the ladies'" or "lavatory".

I always try to be specific. Asking for a "bathroom" can be interpreted as wanting to wash one's hands, say. Although I'm aware that in America, "bathroom" is basically a synonym for "toilet", I've been in many homes in a number of countries where the actual toilet had its own, small room, separate from the bathroom proper. It's always good to be specific to avoid confusion. For example, I once asked where the nearest ladies' was, only to be told (in a confused way) that there were plenty of women around already--which one did I want to talk with?


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U.S. here. I say "bathroom" for the facility in a home (mine or someone else's -- "Where's the bathroom?"), "restroom" in a public place. They tend to be labeled "restrooms" -- the actual rooms will say "men" or "women" on the door, but there'll be a sign pointing to the "restrooms."

Some folks use "go to the bathroom" as a euphemism for the bodily function itself, which leads to such amusing (to my ears) usages as "The dog went to the bathroom on the living-room carpet."

When I was in Spain in the '70s, the term for public bathroom I encountered most often was "el servicio," but many of them were labeled with a big W (for water closet?).
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American, Midwest, age 49. In a private home, mine or others', I'll say "bathroom" ("may I use your bathroom?") but in a public place I'll say "Where is your ladies' room?" In my mind, "toilet" is the object itself, not the whole room.


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Also, this subject reminded me of a movie I saw years ago--don't remember which one--but a little boy said, "Daddy! I have to go to the euphemism!" Always cracked me up.


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Also, this subject reminded me of a movie I saw years ago--don't remember which one--but a little boy said, "Daddy! I have to go to the euphemism!" Always cracked me up.

I like that.


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I remember seeing a book where it was called the "necessary".
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With our cats we call it " having a private moment".