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    #1

    I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a request

    I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a request.

    For example, " I would like to go to the toilet." Do the British feel it is inappropriate? When I was in primary school, my classmates and I always ask our teacher "May I go to the toilet." We were learning British English.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    I've observed that 'restroom' or 'bathroom' seem to be preferred by a lot of Americans, but I wouldn't say they 'do not like' the word 'toilet'.

    They'll answer for themselves when they get up later.

    Rover

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    It's fine in BrE.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    It is rather close to the bone in AmE, as it refers to the porcelain bowl one sits on while voiding one's.... vesicles, as opposed to French, where it literally means, or used to mean, the tiny mirror one used to groom oneself, and by extension, the room where this and other things were done. I'm not sure what the Brits picture when they hear the word, but here, it's quite graphic.
    Last edited by konungursvia; 25-Aug-2013 at 12:42. Reason: sp

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    #5

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    It's not graphic to us. Some prefer the word lavatory, but this is a class thing rather than a euphemism- toilet is seen as non-U.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    While we may ask where the toilets are in a pub or restaurant, many of us speakers of BrE use the word loo in our own or other people's houses.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a request.

    For example, " I would like to go to the toilet." Do the British feel it is inappropriate? When I was in primary school, my classmates and I always ask our teacher "May I go to the toilet." We were learning British English.

    Thanks.
    The phrase is used in AmE, but often only with children. A mother might ask a child "Do you have to go to the toilet". But this refers to the actual functions that are associated with the porcelain fixture.

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    #8

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    My apology. I've made a serious blunder. It should be Americans as indicated in bold below.

    I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a request.


    For example, " I would like to go to the toilet." Do Americans feel it is inappropriate? When I was in primary school, my classmates and I always ask our teacher "May I go to the toilet." We were learning British English.

    Thanks.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    "May/Can I go to the toilet?" is perfectly acceptable in BrE, as is "Where are the toilets?" (in a restaurant etc) or "Where is the toilet?" when in someone's house. Many British houses used to have a small room just containing the actual toilet and a separate room containing the bath, shower, sink etc. If you had asked a British person 40 years ago "Where is the bathroom?" (which is the standard question in AmE), they would have directed you to the room with the bath, shower, sink etc. They would not have directed you to the room which actually contained the toilet.

    As 5jj said, in BrE, we tend to say "Where's the loo?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: I understand the Americans do not like the word "toilet" when it is used in a req

    I would like to hear from another American on how they perceive the request: "May I go to the toilet?" I believe they will think it is very rude to put my request in this way.

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