Last week I posted about euphemisms because I wanted to talk about going to the bathroom. The technical non-euphemistic terms for going to the bathroom are urinate (liquid) and defecate (solid).

In class my students usually ask me if they can go to the toilet. (The beginners just say, “Professor, toilet.”) I tell them that they should say, “Can I go the the bathroom/restroom.” as it is more polite. The toilet is the thing you sit on in the bathroom. The bathroom or restroom is the room where the toilet is. There are many other names for this room, such as the men’s/ladies’ room and the washroom, but bathroom and restroom are probably the most common.

I have one final note. You can use bathroom when you are at someone’s house or if you are in a public place. All of the other names for the room (restroom, men’s room, washroom, etc.) are generally used for public places. In other words, when you are at someone’s house, you should ask, “Can I use the bathroom?” not “Can I use the restroom?”

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