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Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?  
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3173 posts, RR: 9
Posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6313 times:

Where else besides airplanes is the word "lavatory" found? Is it used because it is less crass that other words? Does it mean a small bathroom? What is the history/ origin?


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGoose From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 1840 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

I think the wording has something to it.

lav·a·to·ry ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lv-tôr, -tr)
n. pl. lav·a·to·ries
- A room equipped with washing and often toilet facilities; a bathroom.
- A washbowl or basin, especially one permanently installed with running water.
- A flush toilet.


Sounds pretty right-on to me........ and it's descended from Latin "to wash."



"Talk to me, Goose..."
User currently offlineTrident3 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6210 times:

In England you'll finf the word Lavatoryis used quite a lot, either to refer to the throne itself or to the room that contains it. It is fully interchangeable with toilet.


"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
User currently offlineDeltaffindfw From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6180 times:


Why would you call it a bathroom - there is no bath in there?? And I never understood the term 'restroom'. Personally, I wouldn't want to take a nap there.  Smile


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6161 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Deltaffindfw

I wouldn't like to take a nap in the restroom either, but I have to admit that it's quite restful reading a magazine there..... Smile




When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineAirJamPanAm From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

Let me add my 2 cents to this...ALL over the UK and Europe the use "toilet" very, very freely.
You ask for a restroom or bathroom, you may get asked twice!
Personally I always think toilet sounds a little vulgar, but that's just me.
I think that may be the origin of restroom, to be a little more "gentile"



Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
User currently offlineSlamclick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6074 times:

Used to be common in the airline biz in the US to call it the "biffy." Don't know the origin of that word. The lav service truck is sometimes called the "turd hearse." Lots of euphemisms for this necessary including calling it the "necessary."

Walking around London you often see signs in upstairs windows saying

TO LET

After a careless reading of those signs my sister wondered why they always seemed to have the bathroom upstairs.




Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAirJamPanAm From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6056 times:

Slamclick that is too funny!!!!!
The British often remind Us Non Brits we are not the only English speakers and spellers!
AHHHH vive le difference or however that's spelled!



Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6048 times:

I've heard the term "loo" used a bit, particularly by the British and their direct derivatives.... anyone explain that one?

User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 41
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6028 times:

u go to the loo, to do a number two  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 41
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

- also BOG is another term used by us brits, BOG ROLL being toilet paper

Daz.


User currently offlineLHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6018 times:

Loo means the same as toilet, we British use it all the time  Smile.

LHR340



A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
User currently offlineGoAround From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5994 times:

It'd look a bit odd if BA wrote 'loo' all over their toilets.

Bog isn't great either.

Lavatory is polite. WC sounds silly. So Lavatory is perfect  Smile

They simply use it because it sounds polite, it is clear and direct.

GoAround



GoAround
User currently offlinePiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5966 times:

Along with biffy, airline people used to also call the lavs blue rooms. That term came from the blue DD&D (dye, disinfectant, and deodorant) solution in the toilets.



User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6193 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5902 times:

The word 'loo' is a bastardization of the french word "l'eau" (they sound similar). The origin of its use is in Elizabeathan times when the second floor jutted out over the road. When people were about to empty their chamber pots at night onto the road below they would shout out "regardez l'eau" to warn stragglers from the local pub that an aerial bombardment was about to be launched.



[Edited 2004-01-07 21:45:46]


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineAirJamPanAm From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5861 times:

Planemaker.. You are shi**ng me?
I have never heard that before!
WOW
Who knew?



Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5861 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

How about water closet (WC)??

" Ladies and Gentlemen, for your convenience there are 4 water closets located in the economy class of this 747".

I'm quite certain that you will have lots of confused pax on this plane.  Big grin



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5840 times:

It is a source of some amusement that such innocuous words like 'Lavatory or 'Toilet' are seen to be coarse in the US, hence the terms 'Restrooms' or 'Bathrooms' which for the most part are not even accurately describing the facilities, certainly not on aircraft.
I've heard 'Whiffies' used to describe aircraft toilets in the US, probably accurate in the pre-vacuum days.

Think 'Toilet' is a bit strong, try some of these;
Bog, Crapper (after the inventor of the flush toilet, Thomas Crapper), Shithouse, Khazi, Thunderbox' to name a few.


User currently offlinePrinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5727 times:

When EA received the first A300s back in 77-78 the lavatories had been labeled as "toilets" by Airbus.

EA received many complaints and the signs were changed to "Lavatories".



PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
User currently offlinePER744 From Australia, joined Mar 2003, 405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5651 times:

SA7700: Yes, but they'd probably be confused as to why there are only 4 lavatories for the 300 people in economy  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4263 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5588 times:

Not that this has any bearing on the matter, but Metro North (my local railroad here in suburban NY) calls them "toilets". Personally, they are absolutely disgusting and you wouldn't want to be in the same car (carriage in UK) as one.

As for aircraft, I think you'd have to agree that "lavatory" is just simply the nicest term possible for what its function is. Having a sign on the door that says "Shitcan" or "Piss Receptacle" would be just plain weird - I guess toilet would be OK except that Americans find that a bit impolite. That word would be like showing up at a fancy ball saying "I need to use the crapper" - not good. Besides, there is more to do than just use the toilet in there. There is a mirror, diaper changing table (aka 'mile-high quickie pad'), and a shaver outlet, as well as feminine napkins, tissues and various soaps. Oh the fun you can have in a lavatory!




None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineEI A330-200 From Sweden, joined Apr 2001, 409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

Well, here is the origin of the word. Lava is taken from the latin to clean and -tory meaning room (ie dormatory for bedroom, lavatory for bathroom). I can't believe that no one posted this before. And I think that Lavatory is better than Bathroom or Restroom. Sounds better!


Long live Aer Lingus, the Flying Shamrock!
User currently offlinePilot kaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5492 times:

lol its so funny reading this hehe

User currently offlineBd1959 From Australia, joined Oct 2002, 450 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5490 times:

Australians called a wooden box in the Outback used for ablutions "the dunnie".

Personally, I think standardisation has gone too far and since QANTAS call their 744s "Longreach" (another outback "label") then the lavs in them should also be "Dunnies" - box, outback !!

BD1959


User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5428 times:

In Canada we normally use the term Washroom for public toilets.

25 FoxBravo : It's interesting, while "lavatory" is pretty common in the U.K., it is rarely used in the U.S. outside of the context of aircraft. Kind of like how "h
26 CanadianNorth : I ussually just call it "the can", and call the toilet paper the "bog roll".... Occasionally I'll call the can the crapper too... CanadianNorth
27 USAIRWAYS321 : "Lavatory" sounds better than "shitter," although that's what most WN passengers probably call it anyway. Brett
28 Post contains images Crosswind : As best I remember, this is the derivation of Loo. Before sanitation in arrived in Britain, some time around the 15th century, it was common to go to
29 Planemaker : Crosswind: FYI, we posted very similar posts (no. 14). You are correct that it is some dictionaries. I checked it out after a visit to Scotland. While
30 PROSA : Not that this has any bearing on the matter, but Metro North (my local railroad here in suburban NY) calls them "toilets". Personally, they are absolu
31 Slamclick : My mother always called an outhouse a "chicsale" from the vaudeville performer named Chic Sale who had a famous routine about building outhouses. I on
32 MarcJet66 : For Portuguese and other Latin based languages the word lavatory makes perfect sense , because we have the verb to wash which is "lavar" in Portuguese
33 Dasheighty : Lav, loo, gardyloo,toilet,restroom, lavatory, bathroom on an airplane still means the same result.....Cramped!
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