How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English

How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English featured image

Do you want to know how to talk about going to the toilet in English?

Let me show you lots of useful phrases about going to the toilet in English.

Ready? Let’s get into it…

 

How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English Common Ways to Talk about Going to The Toilet

 

Common Ways to Talk about Going to The Toilet

 

Everyone has to go to the toilet at some point in their lives.

Here are some very common ways to talk about going to the toilet in English.

 

Where’s the bathroom?

You can use this question in a restaurant, in a coffee shop, a train station, an airport and even in someone’s home.

People always know what you mean and will tell you where to go.

 

Where can I wash my hands?

This has the same meaning as above.

 

I need to go to the bathroom.

You can say this when you are with other people and want to excuse yourself. It’s polite to say this just before you go to the bathroom.

 

I need to wash my hands.

And this has the same meaning as above. It’s a little joke. People know you are not just going to wash your hands!

 

I need to go to the toilet.

Or you can just be very clear and say this. Everyone knows exactly what you mean.

 

How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English English Words for Toilet

 

English Words for Toilet

 

We have many different words for toilet.

First, let’s look at the most formal and polite words for toilet.

 

Formal Words for Toilet

 

bathroom

restroom

washroom

the men’s room

the ladies’ room

the men’s

the ladies

the gents

In the UK, people use all the above words for toilet apart from restroom, washroom and the men’s.

In America, people use all the above expressions to talk about the toilet.

You can say the following expressions:

  • Where is the bathroom?
  • I just need to use the restroom.
  • Let me just use the washroom.
  • Can you tell me where the men’s room is, please?
  • Could you tell me where the ladies’ room is?
  • Where are the ladies?
  • Where’s the gents?

 

Old-Fashioned Words for Toilet

 

lavatory

WC

latrine

urinal

public bathroom

commode

You might still hear some of these old-fashioned words used to describe the toilet.

Some people might use these words as a small joke when asking for the toilet.

 

WC means water closet and is just a normal toilet.

A latrine is a communal toilet, often found in an army barracks.

A urinal is a kind of toilet that men use in a public toilet. It is for standing only.

A commode is an old-fashioned kind of portable toilet that people used many years ago.

 

You can use these words like this:

  • Where’s the lavatory?
  • I just need to use the WC.
  • I’ll just go to the latrine very quickly.
  • I might need to use the commode.

 

And remember — these are very old-fashioned words. People might use them but in an ironic way.

 

Informal Words for Toilet

 

Of course, there are many informal words to use for toilet. Some might be vulgar!

loo

lav

khazi

john

throne

shithouse

outhouse

head

privy

the little boys’ room

the little girls’ room

potty

dunny

 

Loo, lav and khazi are old British words for toilet. Loo could be an abbreviation of Waterloo. Lav is short for lavatory.

And khazi is a corruption of the Italian word casa, which means house.

John is the first name of the man that invented the first flush toilet — Sir John Harrington.

Throne is just a humorous reference to the toilet looking like the throne of a king or queen.

Outhouse was used originally because the toilet was outside of the house.

Head was used because the men’s toilets were at the front — the head — of a ship.

Privy is short for private.

Potty is a small child’s portable toilet.

Dunny is taken from an older English word — dunnekin — which was a small closet. This is mainly used in Australia.

 

Ways to Use These Words in a Sentence

 

  • Excuse me, where’s the loo?
  • Oh quick! I need the lav!
  • Where’s your khazi?
  • I just to go to the john real quick…
  • I need a quick visit to the throne.
  • I’m just off to the shithouse.
  • Where’s the outhouse?
  • I need the head.
  • Do you need the privy? It’s over there.
  • Where’s the little boys’ room?
  • I just need to go to the little girls’ room. Back in a moment.
  • Did you find the potty?
  • Where’s the dunny, mate?

 

Remember — these words are informal and cannot be used on all occasions. Only use them with friends, family or people you know well.

 

How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English How to Talk about Urinating in English

 

How to Talk about Urinating in English

 

We have many different ways to talk about urinating in English.

Here are some very common expressions.

to urinate

to pee

to piss

to take a leak

to relieve oneself

to do a number one

to wee

to wee-wee

to tinkle

to pee-pee

to whizz/wizz

to have a slash

 

To urinate and to relieve oneself are very formal.

Urinate might be used by a doctor or a nurse.

Are you having trouble urinating?

All the others are informal or vulgar.

 

How to Use These Words in a Sentence

 

It is a good idea to practice using all of these new words in sentences. I have written some examples below.

Try to practice these by speaking them out loud.

This will help you to learn them for daily use.

  • Are you having trouble urinating?

(Most likely said by a doctor or a nurse. This word is almost never used in daily speech.)

  • Quick! Where’s the toilet? I need to pee!
  • I’ll just have a piss and then we can get going.

(Vulgar English — but commonly used, especially by men. The word piss comes from the Latin word pissiare.)

  • I need to take a leak.
  • Do you need to relieve yourself?

(Very old-fashioned term. Rarely used today.)

  • Number one or number two?

(People ask this as a joke to find out if you need to pee or poo!)

  • Can we stop here? I need to wee.
  • Do you need to wee-wee?

(Wee-wee is a term we use for young children.)

  • I need a quick tinkle.
  • Do you need to pee-pee?

(Terms used for young children.)

  • I’ll just go for a quick whizz/wizz.
  • I need to take a slash!

 

How to Talk about Going to the Toilet in English How to Talk about Defecating in English

 

How to Talk about Defecating in English

 

And we also have many terms for defecating in English.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

to defecate

to poo

to shit

to take a dump

to take a crap

number two

to poop

to poo-poo

doo-doo

pinch a loaf

drop the kids off by the pool

 

To defecate is a very formal term. Mostly used by doctors. It is rarely used in daily speech.

To poo and to poop are informal terms that can be used with friends and family.

To poo-poo and doo-doo are terms we use with young children.

To shit, to take a crap, to take a dump, to pinch a loaf and to drop the kids off by the pool are all vulgar terms — but commonly used.

 

How to Use These Words in a Sentence

 

You should try to practice all of these new words in a complete sentence. Take a look at my ideas below and say them out loud.

This will help you remember them and be able to use them in daily speech.

  • Do you have trouble defecating?
  • I really need to poo!
  • I want to go for a shit.
  • I need to take a dump.
  • I have to go for a crap.
  • I just need to do a quick number two.
  • Do you need to poop? The toilet is right there!
  • Do you need to poo-poo?
  • Do you want to doo-doo?
  • I just need to pinch a loaf.
  • Let me drop the kids off by the pool real quick.

 

Please note — the vulgar terms are usually used by men. Women are usually more polite when talking about these actions!

 

Conclusion

 

Yes, it is kind of funny to talk about English words and phrases for going to the toilet. But everyone needs to do it, so it is a useful thing to study.

Please practice the phrases by speaking them out loud. You can try to include the ones you want to remember in your daily speech.

And don’t forget to leave a comment below!


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