Thursday, 9 February 2012

Spending a Penny

Today I did something that I do quite a few times a day.

I went to the toilet.

Yes – this is another post about toilets – I am not obsessed, honestly.

If you are in anyway offended by toilet talk – please stop reading.

For the rest of you …

I was chatting to my work colleague and he was explaining something to me and it looked like it was going to take a while. And my body was urging me to go to the loo.

So I interrupted him and said:

“I’m just off to answer a call of nature.”

And while I was answering that call, I started thinking about some of the bizarre euphemisms people use when they explain that they are off to the loo.

Yes - I am THAT weird!

I know that you are curious, dear reader, so I have done some research on your behalf. I used your name – I hope you don’t mind.

Here are some common euphemisms that tickled my interest and some that people have said to me.

I need …

… to spend a penny.

... to answer a call of nature.

... to visit George. (This was used by W’s father and I honestly thought for a while that he was going out to visit a friend. Yes I am THAT stupid sometimes.).

... a Jimmy Riddle.

... a pit stop.

... a comfort break.

... to see a man about a dog.

… to point Percie at the porcelain.

… to water the trees.

… to water the tulips.

… to shake hands with an old friend.

... to see a man about a horse.

… to free Willy.

… a tinkle.

… to take a leak.

… to powder my nose.

... to water the porcelain.

... to siphon the python.

... a squirt.

… a slash.

… a whizzle.

I think my favourite was said by eldest lad when he was about six.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I’m going for a short one, he replied.

It took me a few seconds to work out what he meant – a short one as opposed to a long one.

I wonder who taught him that one?

It wasn’t me.

Do you know any strange or funny euphemisms, dear reader?

I'll bet you do.


Pandora Behr said...

And here I was thinking you were going to have a moan about the price of going to public toilets..

The Dutch have a wonderful euphemism - straining the potatoes.

Don't ask me how I know that.

The Elephant's Child said...

Love them. I was thinking, no I don't know any that you haven't used. And then I thought some more. Wee, pee, and piddle are euphemisms. I love your eldest's though. I might bring it across the waters and use it here.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

How do you know that??


Not heard that one. And you only tend to have to pay for using public toilets in places like London - which makes me ask what you do if you are caught short with no change.

Don't get me started.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Yes, of course they are euphemisms.

My kids used "short one" and "long one" until they became teenagers.

Perhaps they didn't want us to know any more detail than "spending a penny".




River said...

I don't know any more euphemisms than what you've posted. I used to think of polite ways to excuse myself, now I just say "hang on, (or excuse me), I have to wee".

drb said...

Hi Mr PM,
Mine was 'excuse me please'.
In S'pore, Kindergarten has no sand pit, but rows of desk and a chalk board. Students (5 and 6 yo)are expected to sit still and learn for 2 hours at a time.

The night before my first day at Kindy, my dad said to my 3 yo self (I was gifted, not a genius, and my mum was sick og me asking too many questions, so started school earlier than usual) in Teochew,"Tomorrow you are starting school. The teacher is going to speak in English. At the beginning you won't understand anything but don't worry you learn quickly."

"Hmmmmm, what happened if I need to go to the toilet?"

"Just raise your hand and say,'Excuse me please, Miss.' and the teacher will give you permission to go."

Boy, I was glad that I learnt those first english words as I needed to use it. My poor old classmate was scared stiff and did a long one in his shorts, his mum was notified and rushed in with a change.

For 4 years, when anyone said 'excuse me', I thought he/she needed the loo.

Kath Lockett said...

I *love* 'short one' and 'long one' - a change from Number Ones and Number Twos.

My brother, as a toddler, used to refer to them as 'Dirties' and 'Wettings' (I'll let you guess which is which). Being the oldest child, those phrases stuck as we used them as a family for years. I only realised that they weren't in common usage when I went on my first overnight sleepover at eight years old!

drb said...

In s'pore schools, number 1 and number 2 were the common euphemisms. You work out which is which.

Anji said...

I think you've covered the range of the ones that I know.

When I was small my mum always told me hold the door open for the next person who needed the loo so that they didn't have to pay 1d

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I've used that one too. I might start to use some of the ones I've listed - to see how they are received.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

"Dirties" and "Wettings" - Love them but not sure I'd use them myself.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Number ones and number twos was common here too. I know kids who were too scared to ask to go to the loo - and I found it amazing that teachers used to tell kids off who had the courage to put up their hands. I'd rather be told off than have to explain why I had a long one in my shorts.




The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Anji,

Good ploy. The problem in London though (in my experience) is that if you use the loo in say Euston Station you cannot get into the loo itself without money (they use a turnstile) so its impossible to hold the door open.

How dare they charge for the use of the loo in such a busy place. What happens if you are desperate?

Actually I do have a solution; pop to a pub or coffee shop nearby. I've done that before.




Christine said...

A great list of euphemisms. 'Gotta go to the Ladies' may be another, but probably not euphemistic enough. Seems that saying that one has to go to the toilet is not acceptable... perhaps a sign that one is not 'civilised' enough for 'polite' society? Whatever that is.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Christine,

I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that I have never said "I need to go to the Ladies".




Chestnut Mare said...

My hubby & I always say that we "need to go & have a little sit down."!!

I think I got that one from my Father...!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CM,

I like that one - not heard it before. I might even start using it ...




Amanda said...

The two that stuck firmly in my brain: draining the lizard, and dropping the kids off at the pool. Courtesy of chef school where no holds were barred

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Amanda,

Not heard of those. Good additions to the list.