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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: grainofsand
To be fair, that place has always been known by euphemisms, and we are just as guilty.
The previous American euphemism was "bathroom", which means "a place where people wash".
The word "toilet" means basically "a place where people wash".
The previous word "lavatory" means "a place where people wash".
If you go round the ruins of an old monastery or castle, you will find a space labelled as a "lavabo", which means "a place where people wash".
It seems that each euphemism, once it becomes recognisable enough to be embarassing, is replaced by another one.
"Public convenience" is a euphemism.
And is "restroom" any worse than "smallest room", or, heaven spare us, "little girls' room"?
Toilet. This too is ultimately a euphemism, from the French toilette meaning “dressing room,” from toile meaning “cloth.” In the 17th century, the toilet was the process of getting dressed – powdering one's wig and so forth. In the 18th century, a toilet call was a social interaction in which a lady received visitors while she was in the last stages of performing her toilet. By the 19th century, we have toilet articles, toilet pail (a bucket to hold slops), and toilet paper (used for shaving, hair curling, etc). The term toilet room seems to have been American in origin, from the late 1800s, and thence abbreviated to simply toilet. Again, the word can mean both the room and the device.