Did you know... why the toilet is called the loo?
November 28, 2008 2:20am CST
The British refer to the toilet as “loo”. The word was derived from the French word “garde a l’eau”. In medieval Europe, people had little concept of hygiene and threw the contents of their chamber pots out the window and onto the streets. In France, the practice was preceded by “garde a l’eau!” (“watch out for the water!”). In England, this phrase was Anglicised, first to “gardy-loo!”, then to just “loo”. Eventually, the word took on the full meaning of toilet or lavatory. In America, toilet is called “john”. It is named after John Harington who invented an indoor water closet for Queen Elizabeth I in 1596.
29 Nov 08
I told my kids about the throwing the stuff out the window once, they were laughing for hours. But unfortunately it was a practice that really made medieval cities a nightmare of germs and disease. I read somewhere that the garbage on the streets of Paris was such that doors had to be raised !No wonder the plague hit! ;)
1 Dec 08
There was a time in history where there was a black plague. It was the result of all these waste being thrown on the street. I am also amazed how people could live in those times. Imagine, opening your window for air, and all the smell you will get is from the crap that was thrown on the street. Speaks a lot about the hygiene standards of those times. Ewww~~~~
28 Nov 08
haha.. That was interesting.. I din know that just a simple, loo, comes from so many language b4 it was finalised.. hehe ^_^ However, loo, is not as commonly used now, because it does not sound so nice, but at the same time, it's a legal word to use.. haha ^_^ All i know is that, in philippines, they called the toilet as, COmfort room.. lol
1 Dec 08
Really? Comfort room? Interesting. I have heard of toilets being called Loo, Water Closet... but comfort room? That is a new one. It does make sense to call it that as well. Cos after you let go of whatever business, you sure feel comfortable. Comfort room indeed!
1 Dec 08
Well, it is really something new. At least, now, when I hear people refer to comfort room, I know what it is! cannot imagine the embarrassment if you get it wrong! You will probably be the butt of jokes for a long time to come! Thanks for sharing that information my friend!