There are few things people talk about less and do so much (the average person spends 1 ½ years of their life in the water closet). But public sanitation is a big deal, so the United Nations has officially proclaimed November 19th World Toilet Day!
Enjoy this montage, followed by some fascinating Toilet Facts!
(Click on any image to enlarge it, or to start slide show)
- Toilet paper was invented by the Chinese in the 6th Century, but wasn’t widely used in the west until 1300 years later! Side note: the Chinese sometimes build toilets for dogs (but then again, they eat dogs, so…).
- In 1760 England’s King George II died after falling off a toilet seat (true), which may be the source of the euphemism “throne.”
- Toilets are dangerous: Over 40,000 Americans are injured in bathrooms every year!
- Toilets were forbidden in movies until one was shown flushing just before the infamous shower scene in Psycho (1960).
- In Afghanistan, 90% of homes have TVs, but only 7% have flush toilets.
- Bonus fact (by me): More pee hits the floor in front of a typical men’s room urinal than water goes over Niagara Falls each year!
- Bonus fact (by me): Some toilets actually contain drinking fountains called bidets! (Weird, I know, but the water is surprisingly good.)
- John – From Sir John Harrington, creator of Britain’s first flushable toilet.
- Loo – From the French guardez l’eau, meaning “watch out for the water.”
- Restroom – “Public Restroom” is the most widely used toilet term in North America, yet surprisingly few people actually “rest” or take naps in them.
- Bathroom – “Public bathroom” is used nearly as often as Public Restroom. But, come on, have you ever actually taken a bath in one? Oddly, Americans say they’re “going to the bathroom” when they are already in the bathroom. This is because “go” means all things to Americans (“So I go, ‘I have to go because I gotta go'”).
- Lavatory – Latin word meaning “wash basin.” Not to be mistaken for laboratory (experimentation is not encouraged in public lavatories).
- Potty – From the traditional use of pots to “potty train” children.
- Head – Nautical term. Located at the head of the ship (surprisingly, nowhere near the poop deck), so the wind will blow away that special sailor aroma.
- Crapper – Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd. made toilets in Britain. American soldiers in WWI found this hilarious because of the previously existing term “crap,” which came from the Dutch word “crappen,” meaning something you throw away.
- Toilet – Yes, toilet is a euphemism, too! It’s from the French “toilette,” to attend to one’s appearance, freshness, or scent. As a kid I saw a bottle of “toilet water” (perfume) in my parent’s bathroom and laughed for the rest of the day.
- Suggestion: Since even the word “toilet” is a euphemism, let’s all adopt the phrase, “Pardon me while I use the euphemism.”
Crappy Happy World Toilet Day!