Toilet, John, Loo, Lavatory, Restroom, Latrine, Privy, Commode, Potty, Throne, Chamber pot, Biffy, Outhouse, Powder room.

There are nearly as many words for toilet as there are people who use the various terms.  My mother called it the “Tinkle Room” which apparently was more delicate and ladylike than any of the other commonly used terms of her day.   My mother fell into the group who used cutsie references for the bathroom.  There is also the group that I will refer to as “Continental“.  These folks utter words commonly used in countries they do not live in (ex:  “Loo” = British ); cool wannabees.  And last but not least we have the “Roughians“. Those who insist on referring to the bathroom in the crudest possible terms hoping to elicit public outcries of shock.  Examples need not be provided – we all know the sort.


No matter your camp when it comes to any public presentation, please adhere to the following decorum:

Excuse yourself with nothing more than a polite “Excuse me, please”.  No need to explain your momentary departure.  Resist the urge to utter any cute, continental or roughian references for this essential function and the room in which it is executed.  Leave. Do. Do. Return.

Salut, et bonne route!

K. Martini