girls' lounge

Hole

Senior Member
Croatia - Croatian
Hi!

Can anybody explain to me what a girls' lounge is? I heard it in a movie related to racial segregation in 1920s in the girls' lounge in a school building. As far as I could see, it is a pretty large room with several sinks and mirrors, as well as some kind of cupboards. I havent's seen any toilets there, but is it more or less a synonym for a toilet?
I suppose that it is a place where girls gather to relax and fix their make up, but I was wondering if I can translate it as "toilet" because such a thing doesn't exist in my country (at least as far as I know :))
Thank you.
 
  • quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi Hole, a lounge is a large room where people gather to relax. There are teacher's lounges in schools, frequent flyer lounges in airports, and staff lounges in any company. There are sofas and chairs, tables, facilities for drinks and snacks, and entertainment (TV, magazines) but there are no toilets.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    When I have seen a women's lounge, it is usually a larger room outside a toilet/restroom with vanities and some seating for fixing makeup, waiting for the restroom to be available, etc. From the hallway you go into the lounge, then from the lounge into the restroom. Also, sometimes men are not strictly forbidden from entering the lounge as they are from the restroom.
    Generally, the men's restroom and the women's restroom are about the same size with matching numbers of facilities but some places recognize that women like to go in groups, take longer in the restroom which causes a line, and have extra functions (makeup) which do not require the same level of privacy. Having a lounge prevents a line in the hallway and having women adjusting their makeup in random reflective surfaces throughout the building.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Can anybody explain to me what a girls' lounge is? I heard it in a movie related to racial segregation in 1920s in the girls' lounge in a school building. As far as I could see, it is a pretty large room with several sinks and mirrors, as well as some kind of cupboards. I haven't seen any toilets there, but is it more or less a synonym for a toilet?

    I suppose that it is a place where girls gather to relax and fix their make up, but I was wondering if I can translate it as "toilet" because such a thing doesn't exist in my country (at least as far as I know :)).

    From your description, this is not in fact a lounge (you don't mention any chairs or couches, which would be part of a lounge); rather, the word was used here simply as a substitute for restroom or, in a facility for adults, ladies' room or women's room.

    That's what would make sense with the sinks and mirrors and what you call "some kind of cupboards"; those are probably the doors to the toilet cubicles.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello hole. :)

    I suspect that Myridon is right: I would think that it is an area where girls can tend to their grooming and spend time away from the boys. However, more information would be helpful. Please give us the sentence in which this refers, and tell us what is being discussed before and after this. Why did they bring up the subject of a girls' lounge? Also, what age would these girls be?
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Segregation was a problem in the 1920's in the United States, but I've never heard of the room with sinks and toilets being called a "lounge" in the U.S.; it sounds like an upper-class British usage, especially at one of their private schools. The usual U.S. term in a school is "girls' room." In public facilities in the U.S., women have "ladies' rooms." The comparable terms for the other gender are "boys' room" and "men's room."

    What was the connection with "segregation"? I wouldn't expect separate "white" and "colored" "lounges" because usually the entire school was segregated, educating whites or what were then called "colored" people in separate buildings. This was legally required in some states in the southeastern part of the country, and required in many other public facilities as well, such as railroad and bus stations. This system was quite prevalent by the 1920's and continued into the 1960's in most of the states where it was established. Does this movie take place in the United States?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Fixing make -up in a school in the 1920s or even nowadays! Unless a college is meant, either for over 18's or over 16's these days. At school in the 1950s only the final year had a common room. There were no sinks or cupboards. It was a communal area for sitting reading the newspapers and chatting. No doubt they have TV's and stuff these days.


    :)
    Hermione
     

    Hole

    Senior Member
    Croatia - Croatian
    Segregation was a problem in the 1920's in the United States, but I've never heard of the room with sinks and toilets being called a "lounge" in the U.S.; it sounds like an upper-class British usage, especially at one of their private schools. The usual U.S. term in a school is "girls' room." In public facilities in the U.S., women have "ladies' rooms." The comparable terms for the other gender are "boys' room" and "men's room."

    What was the connection with "segregation"? I wouldn't expect separate "white" and "colored" "lounges" because usually the entire school was segregated, educating whites or what were then called "colored" people in separate buildings. This was legally required in some states in the southeastern part of the country, and required in many other public facilities as well, such as railroad and bus stations. This system was quite prevalent by the 1920's and continued into the 1960's in most of the states where it was established. Does this movie take place in the United States?

    I don't think there were coloured lounges, but it is implicated that coloured girls are not welcome in the lounge.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't think there were coloured lounges, but it is implicated that coloured girls are not welcome in the lounge.
    If there were separate restrooms and this is the type of lounge that is an anteroom for the restroom (as I described in my post above), then it seems very possible that they might have built a lounge for the white restroom and not the other restroom as the lounge is an unnecessary expense.
     
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