chamber pot

< Previous | Next >

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I wonder the term "chamber pot" is still in current use? If not, is there a new term to replace it?

I can't find out it in our forum, but I can find out in other dictionary.


Thanks
 
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Chamber pots were used a long time ago. Nevertheless, it has not vanished so much as I am aware from the English lexicon. Another popular one was piss pot.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Chamber pots must still be around. In the US, for example, there are people in rural areas who lack indoor plumbing--either by choice or by necessity, and a chamber pot with a lid would be preferable to other possibilities--an ordinary bucket, for example. They must be in use in other parts of the world as well. A search of "plastic chamber pot" via Google and Google Books indicates that such modern items do indeed exist.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Actually in China, particularly during the winter night, we don't want to go to the toilet, it is so far from the bed, indeed it is not that far, but we still don't want to go to the toilet. Then we need something to help us.

    I am just wondering the term is still workable.


    Edit. Yeah, it has another name, jordan.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Silver, I'm familiar with the arrangement that you mentioned, and I'm also familiar with Chinese-style chamber pots (these are made of enamel, and are taller than Western style chamber pots) - sometimes kept under the bed if someone doesn't want to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. We used to see them in coffee shops long ago, when they were used as spittoons, but this practice has since been deemed unhygienic. In my old flat, I used an old chamber pot as a flower pot!

    Whether you will need to explain the term will depend on who your audience is. If you have an educated adult audience, I think it would be safe to use the term 'chamber pot' without further explanation.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    In BE chamber pot is correct but not many people I know use the expression. It would be more normal to talk of a pottie.
    If you say pottie to me, I think of something for a small child. Something like [...]

    For me, it is a childish word for an object used by a child.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you say pottie to me, I think of something for a small child. Something like [...]

    For me, it is a childish word for an object used by a child.
    Not in BE, Brioche, in my experience. Certainly children have potties, but its the word often used for the adult article too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    May be it is regional, or may be things have changed since we left UK.
    Your objections made me wonder for a second if this was a family matter, but websites like this suggest that the usage is general.

    The word is one of many euphemisms surrounding micturition and defecation, and it has a playful quality which minimizes what embarrassment some people might feel.

    Some of my guest rooms here in France are rather far from the fixed facilities, and I often ask elderly English guests if they'd like a potty for the night; none of them has yet given me an old-fashioned look, or wondered what I might be talking about. They've all accepted the offer gratefully. The only embarrassment occurred when one of them in the middle of the night somehow smashed the potty, a fine porcelain number. Pity that!
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Silver, I'm familiar with the arrangement that you mentioned, and I'm also familiar with Chinese-style chamber pots (these are made of enamel, and are taller than Western style chamber pots) - sometimes kept under the bed if someone doesn't want to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. We used to see them in coffee shops long ago, when they were used as spittoons, but this practice has since been deemed unhygienic. In my old flat, I used an old chamber pot as a flower pot!

    Whether you will need to explain the term will depend on who your audience is. If you have an educated adult audience, I think it would be safe to use the term 'chamber pot' without further explanation.
    You can say this again.:thumbsup:
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Your objections made me wonder for a second if this was a family matter, but websites like this suggest that the usage is general.
    I think that was a bad choice of website, TT. It seems to be a Dutch site. I also think that a potty is used by a child and a chamber pot is something which is now used as an ornament. I can remember when I was very small staying in a Bed & Breakfast or small hotel which had a chamber pot under the bed. I also remember my parents calling a chamber pot a guzunder - because it goes under the bed.

    I had a look at the BNC. The only hit for pottie was somebody's name. The 188 hits for potty included a couple where it was a name (Potty), many (about half) where it was an adjective. Of the rest two are definite references to a chamber pot ("That dreadful, flowered thing of Gran's") ("one lavatory is adequate. There is a potty for emergencies.") There was one other which might have meant chamber pot, but the text is insufficient to be sure.

    I never thought to refer to a chamber pot as a potty, but it seems as though a minority of Brits do.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Except to describe antiques, I've never heard of a chamber pot.

    There is a portable urinal that is used primarily by small plane pilots (but also by hunters in tree stands). It has a screw cap (a good idea), but it is also dishwasher safe (a questionable idea).

    There are several manufacturers of this sort of thing. "Little John" is the most common. Google: "Little John portable urinal"
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Only potty. I understand piss pot but wouldn't use it.

    <Moderator note: majlo's question is merged with an earlier thread>
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    My post got lost during the merge. I too would use potty, but only for a child. I wouldn't understand any of the others mentioned by majlo, other than 'chamber pot' itself (which I don't think I've ever had call to say, only read in classic novels etc.) or the fairly self-explanatory 'piss pot' (even then I may wonder if you're literally pissing in a pot...). I also agree that 'bedpan' sounds a bit more up-to-date, especially in a hospital or other context where someone is ill and confined to their bed.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi,
    Out of all these names for a chamber pot, which one is used most often in your neck of the woods?

    a jerry, a Jordan, a po, a gazunder, a piss pot, a potty, or a thunder pot

    Are there any other names for this device?
    Hi majlo

    jerry, Jordan: I've never heard these used for chamber pot.
    po:
    to me means toilet, rather than chamber pot
    gazunder:
    I would use this, but only humorously (it comes, of course, from "goes under" as in "goes under the bed")
    piss pot
    : I know this but don't use the term - it's not very ladylike;)
    potty: :tick:
    thunder pot
    : I haven't heard this, but I have heard "thunder box" (which the WR dictionary has as thunderbox). They used to have thunder boxes on coaches*, I believe.

    -----
    *as in the coaches pulled by horses
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I'm with those who distinguish the adult chamberpot (within the family, the po) from the child's potty. I'm only vaguely aware* of the term jerry and thought it was a toilet.

    * from the Dave Allen joke, ending: 'These twelve good men and women believe they are sitting on a jury. You and I, my lord, know better.'
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Maybe jerry is an old term. I remember it being used by a man of sixty telling a story in 1964; he certainly expected everyone to be familiar with the term. I might even use it myself in a comic context.

    I've also heard jordan occasionally, and po often. As with most words concerned with excretory functions, there are social divisions of language.
     

    Bobbum

    Senior Member
    Except to describe antiques, I've never heard of a chamber pot.

    There is a portable urinal that is used primarily by small plane pilots (but also by hunters in tree stands). It has a screw cap (a good idea), but it is also dishwasher safe (a questionable idea).

    There are several manufacturers of this sort of thing. "Little John" is the most common. Google: "Little John portable urinal"
    Here at the Veterans' Home we call them urinals. They're plastic bottles with a flip-top you thumb open.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ha! My granny had a po, my father called it a gazunder*, my mother called it a potty and I never used it.

    * because it gazunder (goes under) the bed.
     

    Bobbum

    Senior Member
    Each floor here has a special little room for dumping and rinsing them. The smell really clears your sinuses. There's a womens' section here--Section H, affectionately known as the Henhouse. They must have to fall back on the old-fashioned chamberpots, as the opening on our urinals I'm sure would not accommodate them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Each floor here has a special little room for dumping and rinsing them. The smell really clears your sinuses. There's a womens' section here--Section H, affectionately known as the Henhouse. They must have to fall back on the old-fashioned chamberpots, as the opening on our urinals I'm sure would not accommodate them.
    These plastic "chamber pots" (we call them "portable urinals" in the USA) are a staple in the small aircraft industry. Very small planes rarely have rest rooms.

    But these same portable urinals are used by deer hunters who hunt from deer stands high in trees. They don't want to urinate off the tree stand as the smell will keep the deer away. So they use the portable urinals.

    A hunting supply catalog listed these "chamber pots". What got my attention was the notation at the bottom that they were "dishwasher safe".

    I suppose that relates to the fact that the type of plastic is able to tolerate the heat from the dishwasher. I cannot imagine that the hunters' wives would approve however.:p
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There seems to be a language confusion going on here. A chamber pot is not a plastic bottle with a flip top (post #26). This is a chamber pot.

    chanber pot.jpg

    If you take one hunting there would be a serious risk of you breaking it.

    And this is not a thunderbox. This is
     

    Attachments

    Last edited:

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've just been rather staggered to find that not only is gazunder not listed in our dictionaries, it's not even in the full OED! :eek: (Someone really ought to write and tell them ...*)

    Or rather: the term gazunder is in both, in its sense of the (kind of) opposite of gazump.

    *EDIT: done.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top