restroom, washroom, bathroom, toilet, loo, WC, lavatory

Ponyprof

Senior Member
Canadian English
It's an old fashioned and perhaps British phrase. I've never heard it spoken in Britain or North America.
 
  • billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've no idea about the US, but it's common enough on signs in the UK. It's even used to mark public toilets in Asian countries like Turkey!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I've no idea about the US, but it's common enough on signs in the UK.
    It would only be on signs in the US in faux British establishments such as Ye Olde Pub or Limey Bastard's Fish and Chips (I'm making those names up. ;)) .
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    In the US "bathroom" is the common term for the room, and "go to the bathroom" is the common expression for "use the toilet".

    If a sentence needs to talk about the toilet (not the sink or other things in the room) the word "toilet" is used".

    Does "WC" mean the toilet or the room?
    It's the closet where the porcelain object is to be found. In BE, toilet usually refers to the room (and only in certain contexts might it refer to the object), while in AE it (nearly) always refers to the porcelain object.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Does "WC" mean the toilet or the room?
    In BrE, it could be either, but usually it would be the room; the "C" stands for "closet", after all (the only reasonably common use of "closet" in BrE). "Toilet" itself is probably used more often for the room than the thing in the room.

    WC used to be very common when I was a child in the 1960s/1970s, and would often be used in speech. From my recollection both "WC" and "lavatory" were far more common than "toilet". Now "toilet" is almost universal. "WC" survives on direction signs (where it is widespread, on new signs as well as old) on plans of buildings, and on the outside of public lavatories or lavatories in public places.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I have lived in older houses where the toilet sat in its own small room, and the bath tub had its own room.

    In the derelict row house I lived in in London in the 1980s, the toilet was in a tiny room on the landing and the bath tub was in a lean to pantry addition to the kitchen to tie into the only hot water source from the on demand wall heater or "geyser". The house has since been completely renovated.

    In that situation the toilet really was a closet, though we didn't call it that. And the bath was nowhere near the toilet! So some of these words make sense in older configurations.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I have lived in older houses where the toilet sat in its own small room, and the bath tub had its own room.

    In the derelict row house I lived in in London in the 1980s, the toilet was in a tiny room on the landing and the bath tub was in a lean to pantry addition to the kitchen to tie into the only hot water source from the on demand wall heater or "geyser". The house has since been completely renovated.

    In that situation the toilet really was a closet, though we didn't call it that. And the bath was nowhere near the toilet! So some of these words make sense in older configurations.
    Indeed. It was very common in the UK that the porcelain item was in a small "room" - closet-sized and not in the same room as the bath or sink.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In the USA, the expression is: Flush the toilet ! and there's no doubt what appliance they're talking about.
     
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