Why oh why?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by scrumpyjack, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. scrumpyjack

    scrumpyjack Member

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    This site is patronised predominatley by Americans so can any one of you tell me why you call a room that hasn't got a bath a 'bathroom'?
    Or if not called a 'bathroom' you call it 'the John' again why?
    We call a toilet a toilet or the more posh of us call it a lavatory but never a bathroom.
    Our bathrooms are rooms that have a bath within.
    Jack
     
  2. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I always wonder that to. Mind you I'm not posh and I call it a lavatory :tongue:
     
  3. Joll

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    I call it the bog.

    Or dunny for Australians. ;)
     
  4. B_quietguy

    B_quietguy New Member

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    I think the term "bathroom" was used so commonly that it was applied even to rooms with no bath - just a toilet and sink.

    I've also heard the terms "lavatory", "restroom", and "head".
     
  5. Sergeant_Torpedo

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    Not to be a pedant but bathroom in the North American context is a polite 19th century euphemism for a lavatory, or indeed a bathroom. What amuses me is US realtors who will advertize a property as having two and a half bathrooms!

    Toilet is considered prissy. A water closet is properly a lavatory, which can also mean a facility for bathing/washing. And for those in the category of the rising middle classes (Mr Brown's prefered status for us all) please be assured a cloak room is not a small room for hanging coats but a public or private place to shit - from the Latin. Even the COD has got this one wrong.
     
  6. At.your.cervix

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    Don't try to understand the english language--it's like trying to understand the mind of a madman. You're French, you should know that. Not only is english made up of a whole host of other languages (including the occaisional french term or two), but given the colonial aspect of English history, its incorporation of other tongues has been incredibly quick over the past few centuries.

    But now, you come to American english, where we not only incorporate the amalgamations and corruptions which have gone on in England, but we also add to it both immagrant tongues from around the world as well as local and regional permutations within our borders. Speaking Texan english (quite the oxymoron in itself) is quite different than speaking Brooklynese. Thus the etymologies of American terms like "the John" have been essentially lost--at least with any certainty. As per using the term "bathroom" instead of "powder room" or just "the toilet" which are all used more accurately for lavatories without a tub or shower to bathe in but with less frequency in the U.S., my guess is that in America, given our newer and larger dwellings, the frequency of domestic lavatories without a bath or a shower is much less than in europe, wher older and smaller dwellings prevail. Hence the greater propensity to lump together all rooms with toilets as "bath rooms" in America. But that's just my guess.
     
  7. BikerBear

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    BTW.... a toilet is often referred to as "The John" because the toilet was invented by Prof. John Crapper. With the first flushing toilet on display in Seattle's underground tour.
     
  8. DiscoBoy

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    I switch between bathroom and washroom.
    I never choose one over the other for any specific reason, whatever comes out, comes out.
     
  9. mariamluvsEMbig

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  10. scrumpyjack

    scrumpyjack Member

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    I beg your pardon!!
    Je suis Anglais!!!! thru and thru. I just happen to live in France.
    But getting back on track why call the bog a powder room, its a toilet call it a toilet fer gawds sake. You pinched our language and chucked us out of your country now all you do is barstadise it, our language that is.
    Call your toilet a toilet!!
     
  11. Gillette

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    I do, but that's just a plumbing feature not a room in itself.

    The term washroom works for me. I've never seen a room with a toilet that didn't also have a sink for washing your hands afterward. I hope I never do.
     
  12. HazelGod

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    Bingo.

    The term is a remnant of our puritanical extremism, from a time when any public mention of bodily functions wasn't only taboo, it might actually subject the speaker to criminal penalty at worst and public ostracism at the least.

    And yes, in real estate parlance, the room is a full bathroom only if it includes bathing facilities...half-bathrooms have only a sink and commode.
     
  13. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    I have always detested the word "commode". I always say potty or bathroom sometimes washroom.
     
  14. scrumpyjack

    scrumpyjack Member

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    Yes OK I see your reasoning BUT.......
    Your initial purpose for going into this 'room' is to have a wee (piss) or a pooh (shit) ie use the lavatory, toilet, bog whatever you call it not use the bath or wash yer hands. So call it what it is and not a bathroom!!
     
  15. silvertriumph2

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    That's why is also the origin of the words "crapper/crap"....as in "taking
    a crap"..or "I'm going to the crapper"...:biggrin:
     
  16. Captain Elephant

    Captain Elephant Active Member

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    My mother-in-law calls it the Loo. I asked her why. She said because that's what it's called. She's Brit.

    She went completely bonkers when her daughter called it the "half-bath." "There's not even part of a bath in there!"
     
  17. scotchirish

    scotchirish Member

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    Have you never heard the phrases bathe your hands or bathe your face? you only need a sink for that. Nevertheless, this is just an example of house languages evolve in different cultures. To me a term like water closet is completely ridiculous, or using the loo? Typically I say bathroom when in a home, restroom in a public place. Lavatory is saved for airplanes and opera houses, the head is for when on a boat. If you speak English you should be well aware there are multiple correct terms for the same concept.
     
  18. B_Mademoiselle Rouge

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    When in someones home i say "bathroom" when in public i say "restroom"
     
  19. silvertriumph2

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    I asked my grandmother about that when I was a child because I was confused. She lived on a large farm which originally was a cotton plantation before the Civil War and the house was built in 1849.

    The early house, before plumbing, had a large "out house"...with separate areas for men and
    women. Outside each was a small covered niche with a basin for washing hands afterwards.

    However, the house had a large room inside for "Resting"....a Victorian euphemism for using the
    toilet. This was used during winter or bad weather instead of the "outhouse." The room had a
    commode that opened into a chair with a hole...and a porcelian bowl underneath which could be
    emptied. This "Resting Room" was also used for bathing, since there was a large tub hidden inside
    a closet which could be pulled out and had privacy curtains. It had a pipe leading outside the
    house for emptying the tub water (the water still had to be brought up to fill the tub since there
    was no plumbing as yet). When it was used for bathing it was called the "Bathing Room" and when
    used for relieving one's self...it was called the "Resting Room."
    Eventually I guess the terms were combined and it became the "Bathroom."

    In the early 1900's, the house was wired for gas lighting and electricity, and plumbing installed. A
    large room on the 2nd floor was fitted with a flush toilet and a small matching wash basin...and a
    bathtub with running water was installed. I remember seeing both the toilet and basin as a child,
    and the toilet was a pull chain "Crapper" model with a white porcelian bowl with blue, pink and
    green flower designs inside. There was a matching wash basin...quite beautiful. The tub was a
    large, deep, claw-foot model with a large brass gas water heater hanging over the tub which you had to light to heat the water a little before taking a bath.

    At the time this "all-in-one" room was installed with both bathing and toilet facilities, and again due
    to hold-over conventions of the earlier Victorian Era...until the 1920's this room was still called the
    "Resting Room." Probably the origin of todays term "Restroom."
    But, because it was also a "Bathing Room", these terms probably became merged at some point and
    eventually became the "Bathroom"...meaning both facilities.

    Each bedroom still had a large "bathing sink" (a mirror hung above on the wall) with a commode
    or cabinet underneath, with it all standing upon a marble bathing area so that the wood flooring
    would not get wet. Hidden within the commode/cabinate was a "potty" for use during the night.
    The house still has the sinks in each bedroom, but the potties are no longer used since additional bathrooms with a toilet have been installed on the two upper floors.
     
    #19 silvertriumph2, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  20. Northland

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    If there's a sink in there- which hopefully there is, a bath of some sort could take place. I often refer to a trip in there as 'using the facilities'. If visiting or at a place I've never been before, I inquire, 'Where are the facilities?'
     
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