The Origins of 4 Popular Toilet Nicknames

The loo, the latrine, the lavatory — the nicknames for the porcelain throne are endless! (See what we did there?) That being said, if we defined every one we’d be here all day, so instead we’ll get to the bottom of four of the more popular and preposterous nicknames to start:

The Potty: If you’ve got kids, we bet this one’s pretty common in your household, but don’t be fooled! The term ‘potty’ isn’t just a cute name that parents thought up to train their children to use the toilet. Actually, this one dates back to pre-plumbing times, when chamber pots were your best friend on a cold night. Don’t run out to the outhouse — use the potty, instead!

The Privy: This one may not be used as commonly, but you’ll still hear it from time to time nonetheless. The nickname is a derivative of the Old French privé, which denotes an intimate or private place. Makes sense!

The Head: If you’ve got any sailors in your family, you’ve probably heard this one before. Those out at sea coined the on-boat bathroom ‘the head,’ since it was always located in the bow, or head, of the ship.

The John: It’s believed that Sir John Harington was the first to design a flush toilet for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth. It may also come from the alternate nickname for the toilet, ‘a Jake.’

What do you and our family call the toilet or bathroom? No matter what it goes by in your home, the expert plumbers at Barker and Sons Plumbing & Rooter can help you determine any issues with your current toilet, and guide you in the right direction when it comes to repairing or replacing it.

For more information about the toilet installation and repair services we provide to the Orange County area, contact us online or give us a call today.