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U.S slang for 'toilet' and other words...

(16 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sat 27-Apr-13 11:14:41

I am editing a piece of work for a UK writer who is writing for the U.S audience.

He has used the word 'toilet' and I am thinking this should be something else? Water Closet? Bathroom? What else is used, as 'toilet' seems like a UK word? or is that ok? What about 'public toilet' is that called something else?

Other words I am wondering about are:
debit/credit card
ATM machine
hand wash (sanitizer?)

and the spelling of 'faecal' - is it that way or is it 'fecal'?


BloooCowWonders Sat 27-Apr-13 11:33:36

Bathroom or restroom.

Never toilet - seen as rude!

Amrapaali Sat 27-Apr-13 11:36:23

Definitely restroom.

Hand sanitizer was Purell. I think they've definitley made a verb of it. Like xeroxed.. grin

PavlovtheCat Sat 27-Apr-13 11:47:40

oh, maybe I will be 'smart' and change it to Purell then! he wants me to make sure it is fit for US market, so that would work! Or, maybe hand sanitizer?

I thought 'toilet' might be a Bad Word to use!

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 27-Apr-13 15:32:47

I would use "hand sanitizer" not Purell. Purell is a brand name.

"Bathroom" if in a home; "restroom" if in an office building, airport, etc. "Restroom" would not be used for a home. "Toilet" is never used to refer to the whole room, but only to the actual porcelain fixture (and only if absolutely necessary, as in "the toilet is overflowing").

Fecal is the US spelling.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 27-Apr-13 15:41:48

Also, one slang term would be "john," referring to the whole room: "He's still in the john." It would be considered very informal but not necessarily rude. You might say it among friends, but you would not ask your mother-in-law to be, when going to her house for the first time, "Where is the john?"

Another slang term is "head," from marine/naval usage. Again very informal, but not rude.

MrsHiddleston Sat 27-Apr-13 15:46:41

Bizarrely I know 2 Americans who both call it the powder room?!

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 27-Apr-13 15:47:33

Oh, I forgot another accepted use of "toilet": "toilet paper." It is always called "toilet paper" or much less often "toilet tissue." but never "toilet roll."

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 27-Apr-13 15:57:53

Yes, "powder room." This is most commonly used to refer to a "half-bath" in a private home, which somewhat oddly means a room with just a toilet and sink (note Americans do not say "basin") and no bathtub. But some people use the term as what I suppose they think is a more polite way to refer to "going to the bathroom" as in "I need the powder room."

We Americans can be a bit precious about our bodily functions. BTW, some older Southerners avoid "toilet" even for the porcelain item; they call it a "commode."

nosleeptilever Sat 27-Apr-13 16:13:47

washroom is another word for toilet when out and about in the US.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 27-Apr-13 16:26:47

Washroom is primarily Canadian.

PavlovtheCat Sat 27-Apr-13 23:02:19

So, in this not my article, I have edited it using 'hand sanitizer' and 'public restroom', and used 'fecal' as the spelling for shit. It's in the context of an article about germs. Ver, ver interesting.

Thank you!

MirandaGoshawk Thu 09-May-13 21:48:12

There's an advert on atm for a store that has a testing area for beds to find out your preference for soft/firm mattress and they call it the Comfort Station. Always makes me hmm because when I was in Florida I heard the 'bathroom' being referred to as the comfort station.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 10-May-13 00:19:49

Miranda, so true. And if you go on an all day coach tour in Florida (and other parts of the US as well), you will be afforded "comfort stops."

LittleFeileFooFoo Fri 10-May-13 00:33:37

The John, the crapper, Mr. Crapper's Amazing Invention, the baby blue/pink powder. Dropping the Kids off at the pool, Nipping a roll...

fecal is usually paired with matter.

Hand sanitizer is specifically that alcohol-based rub stuff you don't wash off, rather than just hand soap, which is usually what's offered at public accommodations.

CheerfulYank Fri 10-May-13 00:36:40

What they said smile

Toilet for the actual fixture, bathroom or restroom otherwise.

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