Gray Matter


The Personal Hygiene Room in Your Home

personal hygiene roomThe personal hygiene room I call a bathroom is known by other names. The same thing goes for the sanitation fixture I call a toilet. It depends on where you’re from or where you live. It also depends on what language or languages you speak.

I’m obviously focused on English speakers, but not necessarily American English speakers. Filipino English isn’t the same as American English and neither is the English spoken in countries other than the United States (obviously).

The Toilet

Is “toilet” a dirty word? Why is it that Americans will avoid using that term unless they’re talking about cleaning one.

When I need to go, and it’s usually all of a sudden when I do, I just say “I’m going to the toilet.” Other people use creative words and phrases to sidestep the issue. Here are some things I’ve heard:

I’m sure you get the point. Here’s another list of the things people call the toilet, some totally incorrect I’m sure:

The Bathroom

The bathroom has a lot of names, some more correct than others. In fact, bathroom is only correct when the room has a bath in it. A bathroom without a toilet is probably the most correct. Here’s yet another list:

I understand “latrine” (used by the Army) but I’ll never understand “head” (used by the Navy and Marine Corps). It isn’t at the head of anything that I’m aware of.

Other Things to Ponder

When someone is sick or drunk and kneeling in front of the toilet, I like to say they’re “praying to the porcelain goddess”. Other people like to ask if that person was speaking to “Ralph”, pronounced like the act of vomiting.

When some people have had a pretty wet time at the toilet, they say things like “I just got done painting the toilet.” These days, I spend far more time on the toilet than I like to admit, and I’ve painted a lot of toilets in recent years.

Some people use some type of paper to wipe their bottoms. It’s usually toilet paper, but some use regular tissue paper, paper towels and even sheets of newspaper (it’s like wiping your bottom with sandpaper) in an emergency. Other people wash their bottoms, drying them or not when they’re done.

I think we should simplify things. The room with just a toilet (and a sink) should be called the toilet room, and the room with a shower or bathtub added should be called a bathroom. No one rests in either and there’s no comfort for anyone in either. Think about it.

Speaking of toilets, you should read this if you’re a homeowner: What is the Average Toilet Installation Cost?

Photo Attribution: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: July 26, 2020 (UTC)
Categories: Culture, Health

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