latrine VS traditional-style toilet

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Nawee

Senior Member
Thai
Hello,

I looked up the word "latrine" in a dictionary and it says that it is a hole in the ground used as a toilet when one goes camping. What about the toilet in Asian countries where one has to crouch over a piece of toilet fixture on the ground. I have heard it called a "traditional-style toilet". But to me it is based on the same idea. I wonder if it could be called a latrine too.

Best regards,

Nawee
 
  • A toilet seat fixed over a hole in the ground is pretty damn close to being a latrine! (It is, in my opinion.)

    Note that Cambridge dictionary only says, "such as".

    a simple toilet such as a hole in the ground, used in a military area or when staying in a tent
    No definition I've seen *limits* latrine to a simple hole,
    and some sources apply the term to arrangments in Army camps.

    Hello,

    I looked up the word "latrine" in a dictionary and it says that it is a hole in the ground used as a toilet when one goes camping. What about the toilet in Asian countries where one has to crouch over a piece of toilet fixture on the ground. I have heard it called a "traditional-style toilet". But to me it is based on the same idea. I wonder if it could be called a latrine too.

    Best regards,

    Nawee
     

    sandpiperlily

    Senior Member
    A toilet seat fixed over a hole in the ground is pretty damn close to being a latrine! (It is, in my opinion.)
    I don't think that's what Nawee is describing.

    What I've seen in a lot of Asian countries does not have a toilet seat at all. Rather, it's a fixture on the ground that you crouch over. It's not a "hole in the ground" because it connects to plumbing, but there's nothing to sit on. You just squat.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I can confirm that we do in fact say 'squat toilet' here, which would be our traditional toilet. In many public toilets (I can speak of the men's toilets only), there are perhaps half a dozen 'pedestal' toilets (with seats) and one squat toilet. It is useful for people who want to avoid contact with the toilet seat which they suspect of being unclean.

    Apparently they are also called Nile pans, as in this BBC news story:
    Rochdale Exchange Centre has introduced the "holes in the ground" otherwise known as Nile pans.
     
    Last edited:
    I think things are getting clearer. In your first post, you said,

    What about the toilet in Asian countries where one has to crouch over a piece of toilet fixture on the ground.
    That sounded outdoorsy (without floor), not like the Japanese 'squat toilet' pictured on the Wiki page.





    Dear Bennymix,

    My thoughts exactly. "Such as" sort of threw me. It made me wonder what other examples are there. However, I have found a term for the "traditional-style toilet". According to Wikipedia, it is called a "squat toilet".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet

    Nawee
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    and some sources apply the term to arrangments in Army camps.
    In the US armed forces, any toilet (both the fixture and the room it's in) on an Army post is a latrine, just as any toilet on a Navy or Jarhead Marine Corps base is a head.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I have heard it called "a Turkish toilet."

    A latrine, familiar to anyone who has served in the Army. is often a ditch dug out lengthy enough that several people can use it at once.
     
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