a marker / felt tip <pen> in the toilet

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Senior Member
German / Switzerland

I've checked several threads, but I couldn't find one that specifically answers my questions.

I understand that pen is non-specific; there are different types of pens.

1) Let's say a customer at a counter asks for a pen. The person might want to fill in a form or sign a document. Is it correct that the person expects either a ballpoint pen (biro) or a roller ball pen or a felt tip pen with a fine tip?

2) Let's say a nurse explains to a patient how to take a urine sample. She knows that there's a marker / felt tip pen in the toilet and she needs to explain to the patient that they will need to write their name on the specimen cup. Will the nurse more likely tell the patient that there is a pen in the toilet, or will they more likely use the specific term (marker / felt tip pen)?
  • JillN

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    We never specify the kind of pen... and the nurse would only call it a marker if it were a really thick marker, which is different from normal pens and not used for everyday writing.
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