Why do North Americans call toilets bathrooms
Why do they call bathrooms toilets?
The usual household bathroom seems to have more nicknames, slang terms, and alternating titles than any other room in the house. One name for a bathroom is "toilet". Although North Americans rarely refer to toilets as a toilet, airlines and people from the UK still do - for a variety of reasons. From the original Latin meaning "to wash", the term "toilet" still has meaning in today's society.
A toilet is another name for a bathroom.
Origin of the word "toilet"
The Latin word "lavare" means "to wash".
Many words in English can be traced back to a Latin root word. Toilet is based on the Latin "lavare", which means "to wash", or the late Latin terminology "Lavator", which means "to wash". From those beginnings, Middle English adopted the word "lavatorium" to denote the place where one washes. This could mean either washing clothes or washing for personal hygiene.
Toilet becomes a common title
A pitcher and basin were used for personal hygiene prior to interior plumbing.
At one time the only people who owned toilets with bathtubs were royalty because only they could afford to fill them with hot water. Common people performed their daily cleansing rituals by keeping a jug of water and a sink in their bedrooms. As Central England became the most important language root in England, many people adopted this common use of the word "toilet" or "washing place".
The laundry room becomes an important room in the house
The first indoor installation was extremely expensive.
With the invention of indoor installations, the toilet became an important room in the house. Now a person could easily turn on the faucet and have water for washing food and clothes, drinking, and bathing. With the introduction of the toilet into the house, the need for privacy moved the dresser, the bathtub and hand sink behind closed doors. Formally, this new private space was called the toilet.
The toilet travels overseas
The use of the word bathroom made more sense to North Americans.
When people from the Old World immigrated to the New World, they brought customs and traditions with them. The new settlers in North America searched Europe and especially England for trends and fashions. When plumbing became common in Europe, North Americans found ways to build these "washrooms". In order to become a separate entity of Europe, the Americans began to name the toilet by its common name "bath", which simply described "the bathroom with the bath".
Where toilet is used today
Most planes call their washrooms toilets.
Most North Americans use the words "bathroom", "toilet" and "washroom" interchangeably. A bathroom can also be referred to using other slang terms that are commonly understood by the public. However, the formal word for bathroom, "toilet" can still be found when traveling. Most airlines still refer to their washrooms as toilets for two reasons. First, airlines are continental and try to make terms as general as possible. Second, a bathtub would never fit on an airplane.
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