Dan Shane danshane at
Wed Jan 31 14:22:51 CET 2001

> > BTW, isn't it "toilet" or "bathroom" in American
> > English, rather than WC?
> >
> But as you may realize that bathroom starts with the
> word "bath". I've often seen are beloved ducks taking
> a bath.

As someone with some architectural training I might be able to shed a little
light on the American cultural view of a bathroom.  In a United States house
the toilet facilities are commonly called a "bathroom", even if there is no
bathtub in the room.  This is usually known as a "half bath."  In a public
place, such as a restaurant or office building, the facility is usually
referred to as a "restroom", and it is quite rare in our country to see a
unisex public restroom.  Normally there will be a "men's room" and a
"ladies' room".  I often call it the "used coffee depot", but that's just

The term "water closet", or "WC", is hardly ever spoken out loud, but it is
almost always used on architectural drawings in the US to denote a room that
contains only a commode or a commode and sink.  Even house plans that have a
separate area in a bathroom to offer privacy in the toilet show that
room-within-a-room as the "WC".

So WCs aren't foreign to architects or builders, but most Americans haven't
heard the term in conversation.

I recall a pretty funny story about a British woman moving to the US that
asked the parish priest about the WC facilities, and the poor clergyman
wasn't familiar with the term, so he thought she must mean "wayside chapel".
He proceeds to tell her all about the advantages of his local "WC".  If I
can find the story, I'll post it.

Dan Shane
(danshane at

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