The ‘T’ Word

On my son’s first day at school he put up his hand and asked if he could go to the toilet.

Aussies reading this can’t yet see the issue…

Little Canucks, however, caught on straight away and responded as only 11 year olds can with giggling and snorting laughter.

You see, Canadians don’t say the ‘T’ word (in a hushed whisper, “Yes I mean toilet”). It’s a bit like saying Voldemort.

What he should have said was, “Can I please go to the washroom?”

After extensive investigation I have also discovered that there is a trend with Canuck and Aussie language describing other rooms in houses, not just the washroom/toilet!

Canucks often include the word room to describe a location within their house and Aussies leave it off more often than not. Take, for example the room where you wash your clothes. Aussies call it a laundry and Canucks call it a laundry room.

I think both Aussies and Canucks are being a little inconsistent here! I mean you either tag the room word onto all rooms or none!

Here’s what I propose…

From this point on Canucks should continue the trend of adding the word room to describe parts of their house. So, in a typical Canadian house you will have a kitchenroom, bedroom, bathroom, washroom (or we could call it a toiletroom), a studyroom, laundryroom and a loungeroom.

Aussies need to keep it simple and drop the word room. An Aussie house will have a kitchen, bed, bath, toilet, study, laundry and a lounge.


I can’t finish this post without a peek at other words Aussies routinely use to describe the toilet:

  • Loo – This is my personal favourite, and a term I often use, “I’m just going to the loo.”
  • Dunny – It’s Aussie slang for toilet. I don’t usually say it, but it is pretty common. It used to refer to an outhouse, but now it just means toilet.
  • Shitter / Shit house – No explanation required. And no, these aren’t terms I use.

And just so you know, my son took the giggling in his stride and no permanent psychological damage was inflicted. But I’m sure he’ll never utter the ‘T’ word on Canadian soil again.


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6 Responses to The ‘T’ Word

  1. Madeleine says:

    He may be relieved to hear that the table sometimes gets turned on us. For example, a bathroom in French is the salle de bain. Whilst in a Paris cafe once, I asked the waiter for directions to the salle de bain. He didn’t snicker or giggle, he jeered, he pointed, he belly laughed, he said very loudly “cette mademoiselle veut prendre un bain” ie this lady wants to take a bath!! Ugh…alas it’s called the toilet in France but how was I to know?!

  2. bossy5 says:

    Ahhh so it’s not just with the Americans!!! I remember a similar experience with Americans. Do the Canadians use the word fanny for bottom??? As in ‘fanny bag’ where we would say ‘bum bag’ ?? The Americans used to wonder why we Aussies were chuckling when they started saying ‘fanny bag’!!!

  3. nicolegodwin says:

    I was in the supermarket today and noticed the big sign above the toilet paper isle. It said “bathroom tissue!”

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