The word toilet?

?   Monday, October 06, 2003, 01:54 GMT
Where did the word toilet come from? a word that has evolved into a word that is not polite to say in public?
Jim   Monday, October 06, 2003, 02:43 GMT
Is it not polite to say "toilet" in public? A second question: why has society in some countries evolved in such a was as to regard such a harmless word as impolite. I don't find it impolite at all but I'm Aussie. In fact I'd go so far as to call those who do "tight-arsed". I'm sorry I can't help with the etymology, though.
Juan   Monday, October 06, 2003, 02:57 GMT
Is kinda like in your face when you say toilet....I don't need to know that you need to take care of business. Saying bathroom is a much better word since it doesn't necesseraly imply that you know taking care of business, you might be just fixing your appearance or what-not.
Jim   Monday, October 06, 2003, 03:14 GMT
If it's got a bath in it, it's a bathroom, if it hasn't, it's not.

Let me get in your face a bit and ask "Do you mean 'take a piss and/or shit' when you say 'take care of business'?" Why pussy-foot around the issue?

All I'm saying is that the word "toilet" is only impolite if you let it be. Relax, call a spade a spade. If you want a bath then tell me that you're off to the bathroom. If not then don't.

There's nothing wrong with going to the toilet though if you don't feel like telling everyone where you're going then don't, what's wrong with "Excuse me."?
mjd   Monday, October 06, 2003, 03:14 GMT
Like I said in the other thread (why did you start two?), for me "toilet" is the actual device that you flush. The bathroom is the room itself (I know not all of them have baths or showers, but, hey, I didn't invent the term). I don't know if toilet is impolite (it's uncommon in North America for one to say "where's the toilet?"), but it's a word that refers to a certain object. If you were to say to someone in the U.S....."Is this toilet broken?" or "I think we might have to get a new toilet." wouldn't be considered impolite. Referring to the object itself, i.e. the toilet, isn't considered impolite in AE. I suppose what some may say is impolite is referring to the bathroom itself as "the toilet."
Jim   Monday, October 06, 2003, 03:49 GMT
Aussie English is a bit different to american English and closer to British/Irish English. We use "toilet" for the room and the device in it. In Aussie English all bathrooms have baths in them by definition.

Also see
Californian   Monday, October 06, 2003, 03:55 GMT
I usually just say "MAN I GOTTA PEE!" but only to my friends. hahah
mjd   Monday, October 06, 2003, 03:57 GMT
I prefer "I gotta take a piss."
to ?   Monday, October 06, 2003, 06:20 GMT
"Toilet" comes from the French "toilette".
Juan   Monday, October 06, 2003, 09:31 GMT
I dont care to tell a family member or close friend that I'll be going to the toilet for a few seconds. But I dont think its appropriate to tell someone that Im not that familiar with that Im going to the toilet, its more polite to mention the bathroom instead. That's all. Not that its a big deal or anything.
Boy   Monday, October 06, 2003, 09:48 GMT
Look guys. I got the point what Jim was trying to say. I also got the point what Juan was trying to say. My final verdict is, use any word that you think is appropriate for a place where you do your poo-poo and then clean it. That's it.

Don't mind, guys. I haven't used a bathroom/toilet in my life. I've been on consipation since I was born. Which term is right to say or which is not is the main problem of yours not mine.

Rugger   Monday, October 06, 2003, 10:22 GMT
As Jim says, "toilet" to us Aussies is not an impolite term. In my house I have a bathroom which contains a bath plus a commode (the "bathroom commode"), and two separate "toilet" rooms with just a commode in them.

Anyway, doesn't "La toilette" mean washing, getting washed. So how has "toilet" become impolite when toilets (English) = les toilettes (French) = washroom.

I would consider it impolite to refer to the toilet as the "shithouse", and some people even find the slang word "dunny" to be impolite.
Imran   Monday, October 06, 2003, 17:20 GMT
I think commode isn't an appropriate word for a toilet or lavatory.As a matter of fact, it is a chair-shaped piece of moveable furniture used by people who are ill or old.I want to know more about this word in various English speaking countries,such as America, Canada, Austrailia etc;
?   Monday, October 06, 2003, 19:08 GMT
The reason why I started them both is because, I accidentally wrote the subject as my name on the other thread.
mjd   Monday, October 06, 2003, 19:28 GMT
Imran's explanation definitely holds true here in the U.S. A commode is used to describe a portable toilet for terminally ill or incapacitated patients. Perhaps this is different in other English speaking countries.