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JOHNS

April 11, 2015

Bring Me Little Water Sylvie
Bring me little water now.
Bring me little water Sylvie
Every little once in a while.
~Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter

Running water, indoor plumbing, and flush toilets (johns) are modern inventions and conveniences that address our need for cleanliness and simplicity. When we travel, we see there are variations on the theme and availability.

Historically, we spent much of our time finding, carrying, and removing water. The ease with which we have relatively universal access to this commodity is astounding; very few places in developed countries still require carrying water or using latrines. Only in times of disasters, such as hurricanes, do many of us need to resort to more primitive methods.

Outhouse, flushing. Toilet paper over, under; clockwise, counterclockwise.

What is your family’s favorite word for the toilet?

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From → A to Z Blog

8 Comments
  1. sarahallanauthor permalink

    Just “toilet”! We’re easy. 🙂 And the TP needs to be OVER. Those heathens who drape it under drive me nuts. Happy A-Zing!

  2. elaaw permalink

    I think “the potty” did it for us. And I’m with Sarah — gotta be OVER, and every time I find it the OTHER way and have to reverse it, I’m sure there’s some law of Mechanics that says it has to be OVER!

  3. we call it the loo, or the bog or the lav! I’ve heard of the john. Wonder where that came from – I know about this fixation with the way the loo paper is supposed to be .. I swear I don’t know ..

    • I researched the term, but all I found were retractions of urban myths and no explanation. Let’s make it up!

  4. It shames me to say it, but many of Canada’s First Nation’s communities lack access to clean water. No excuse for that in this theoretically “developed” nation.

    As for “toilet” words, my grandmother used to call it “the biffy” and we still do when we’re feeling silly, but mostly we just use toilet. We hang the paper over, but honestly, I can’t really bring myself to care about it too much. So funny that it’s a “thing.”

    • Thanks for sharing your family’s ‘word.’ The whole issue of water is becoming more critical for all of us.

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