Toilet talk: English vocabulary about (using) the bathroom Posted by Gabriele on Oct 21, 2014 in English Vocabulary
Today’s post is all about words and expressions that you aren’t likely to learn in a class; today we are going to talk about going to the bathroom! The vocabulary introduced today are words and expressions you will definitely hear native speakers use, and these are also words and expressions you may need to use sometime too. So let’s get down to it, today is all about toilet talk!
Here are some common expressions that English-speakers use to ask where the toilet is located.
“Where is the bathroom?”
“Can you tell me where the restroom is?
“Where is the lavatory?”
“Which way is the washroom?”
“I need to use the toilet, where can I find it?
“Where is the loo?” (British English)
“Can you point me to the WC?” (British English)
In English the bathroom can also be called: “the men’s room” (for men), “the women’s room” (for women), and sometimes people also say “the little boy’s room” (for men) and “the little girls’ room” (for women). For example:
“Can you tell me where the little girl’s room is?”
All of the above expressions are neutral in nature (not too formal or informal) and appropriate to use in public at anytime to ask where the bathroom is located.
The toilet, which is found in the bathroom, also has many names in English. Here is a list of some of these names. How these words are used is in (parentheses).
the pot (informal)
the throne (informal)
the chamber pot (old fashion)
Now, it is time to look at some vocabulary to talk about what happens in the bathroom, on the toilet. Below are two lists of words for our two bodily functions (pee and poop). I’ve listed these words generally in order from the most polite/formal words (at the top) to the least polite/informal words (at the bottom). I have indicated next to each word whether it is a noun or verb, its formality, or other important information. How the word is used is important information to know, so please take note. There are some examples for how these words can be used below.
urine (n) / to urinate (v) – (formal)
number 1 (n) -(neutral/polite)
tinkle (n) – (polite/old fashion)
(to) pee (n & v) – (neutral, most common term)
pee-pee (n) – (childish)
wee-wee (n) – (childish)
(to) piss (n & v) – (informal)
(to) wizz (n & v) – (very informal)
to take a leak (v phrase) – (very informal)
“I have to pee, where is the bathroom?”
“I’m going to take a leak, I’ll be right back.”
“My son peed on himself and I need to change his clothes.”
Mom: “Do you have to go number 1 or number 2?” Child: “Number 1.”
“Someone pissed all over the sidewalk. Gross!”
“I went pee-pee in the potty.”
“The nurse checked to see if there was urine in the bed.”
“Do you have to tinkle?”
to defecate (v) – (formal)
feces (n) – (formal)
stool (n) – (formal)
to have a bowel movement (v phrase) – (formal)
bowel movement or BM (n) – (neutral)
number 2 (n) – (neutral/polite)
poop (n) – (neutral, most common)
poo (n) – (neutral/childish)
poo-poo (n) – (childish)
poopy (n & adj) – (childish)
doo-doo (n) – (childish)
(to) sh*t (n & v) – (very informal)
to take a dump – (v phrase) – (very informal)
“The old man defecated in his bed.”
“How often do you have a bowel movement?”
“I need to change my daughter’s poopy diaper.”
“Where can I take a dump around here?”
“I haven’t had a BM in 2 days.”
“I saw some feces in the bushes at the park.”
“You will have to provide a stool sample for testing.”
Learning this array of vocabulary for talking about bodily functions is important for a few reasons:
1) You may hear other people (especially native speakers) use these words and so it is good to know what they mean;
2) You want to use the right type of word for the right type of situation, and to do that you have to know a variety of ways to talk about your bodily functions; and
3) This is vocabulary building! There is more than one way to say almost everything and now you have many ways you can talk about a subject that is often hard to discuss.