zrs70
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Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:56 am

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?
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Goose
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:04 am

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..."
 
trident3
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:21 am

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.
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deltaffindfw
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:25 am


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
 
SA7700
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:33 am

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

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airjampanam
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:48 am

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"
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SlamClick
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:58 am

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.

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airjampanam
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:02 am

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!
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:04 am

I've heard the term "loo" used a bit, particularly by the British and their direct derivatives.... anyone explain that one?
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dazultra
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:06 am

u go to the loo, to do a number two  Big thumbs up
 
dazultra
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:07 am

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

Daz.
 
LHR340
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:07 am

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

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GoAround
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:12 am

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
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PiedmontGirl
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:18 am

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.

 
planemaker
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:39 am

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]
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airjampanam
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:49 am

Planemaker.. You are shi**ng me?
I have never heard that before!
WOW
Who knew?
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SA7700
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:49 am

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)
 
GDB
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:54 am

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.
 
Prinair
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:21 am

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
 
PER744
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 9:32 am

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
 
richierich
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:41 am

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!!!!
 
ei a330-200
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:52 am

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!
 
pilot kaz
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:09 am

lol its so funny reading this hehe
-
 
BD1959
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:10 am

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
 
Olympus69
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:20 pm

In Canada we normally use the term Washroom for public toilets.
 
FoxBravo
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:45 pm

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 "head" is used exclusively to refer to the same thing on ships.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:46 pm

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
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USAIRWAYS321
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:00 pm

"Lavatory" sounds better than "shitter," although that's what most WN passengers probably call it anyway.

Brett
 
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Crosswind
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:39 pm

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 the toilet in a bucket and throw the effluent out onto the streets from the windows of your house afterwards - including from upstairs.

As you can imagine, this wouldn't be great for anyone walking in the street below.

In Edinburgh, as a warning to anyone passing in the street people would shout "Gare de l'eau!" just before they threw out the bucket of effluent, and I mean just before  Wow! If you didn't see where it was coming from and get out of the way you were soaked anyway!!! Gare de l'eau obviously comes from the French meaning watch out for the water. The peasant masses weren't too hot on their French, and the phrase colloquially was "Gardyloo!"

And that's where the word "loo" comes from.

...The things you learn on night walking tours round Edinburgh  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
And if anyone wants to check, I'm reliably informed "Gardyloo" is in the Oxford English Dictionary....

Regards
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planemaker
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:02 pm

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 in Edinburgh I saw a 2 panel period print of just such a scenario - a soused man weaving by on his way home from the pub. As he is oblivious to the cry from above the last panel has him splattered!

Also, you may know that Edinburgh had a sludge disposal vessel called the MV "GARDYLOO".
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
prosa
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:36 pm

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.

If you think those are bad, check out the ones on the LIRR sometime.

My favorite word for a toilet is "donicker," but it doesn't get used much anymore.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
SlamClick
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:55 am

My mother always called an outhouse a "chicsale" from the vaudeville performer named Chic Sale who had a famous routine about building outhouses.

I once got off the plane in Lima Peru and asked a beautiful Inca-looking agent for the "excusado" which is one of many Spanish euphemisms for it. She replied in a wonderful British accent

"Do you mean the loo?"

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
MarcJet66
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:43 am

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.
Lavatory than, means a place where you can wash.. Maybe I'm wrong, but it makes sense to me.
Marcos
 
Dasheighty
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RE: Why Is The Word "lavatory" Used?

Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:48 am

Lav, loo, gardyloo,toilet,restroom, lavatory, bathroom on an airplane still means the same result.....Cramped!

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