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Just in Case You’re Confused

By Mark D. Roberts | Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just after I got off the plane in London, I saw the sign to the right. I had to chuckle. Of course we Americans would refer euphemistically to the “Women’s Restroom,” though women don’t actually rest in such places. We Americans aren’t quite so blunt about the existence of toilets in our so-called restrooms.

But, even more, I was impressed with the British effort to be very clear. If you’re not sure what a female toilet is, the sign adds “Male toilet opposite.” Now what could be clearer than that? No doubt about it. A female toilet is, most certainly, the opposite of a male toilet.

(Yes, yes, of course I know the real meaning of “opposite”.)

Topics: European Reflections |

2 Responses to “Just in Case You’re Confused”

  1. Kurt Norlin Says:
    July 25th, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    By “toilet” don’t the British generally mean the *room* containing the fixture we call by that name? As opposed to the bathroom, which contains the bathtub and in (older?) British homes is a separate room.

  2. Chris Says:
    February 24th, 2009 at 6:42 am

    I’m a British expat living in South Africa. On a trip last year to the US, I asked a couple where the toilet was. I saw the look on their faces - somewhere between embarrassment or like I’d broken some taboo.


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