[identity profile] liars-dance.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] multinationbeta
... to you good people of the US. Would a fifty year old man (mentioning no names *g*) say 'I need to go to the bathroom'? Or would he say something like 'I need to take a leak - have a piss' or something like that? I know all sorts of UK alternatives but not American. Any help gratefully received :)

Date: 2009-01-10 03:52 pm (UTC)
seleneheart: (flower urinal)
From: [personal profile] seleneheart
Most men who are trying to be tactful and polite say 'restroom' or 'bathroom.'

If he's more down to earth, he'd say 'take a leak' or 'I need to piss.' Piss is usually a verb over here, not so much a noun. Those are probably the two most common alternatives, although 'take a whiz' and 'take a squirt' sometimes show up.

There's lots of other more colorful ways of putting that, such as 'drain the lizard' or 'go see a man about a horse.' Both of which lead me to wonder the backstory for those euphemisms.

These apply to most adult males, so I'd say your guy could use any of them, depending on his mood and who he's around.

Date: 2009-01-10 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hederahelix.livejournal.com
I was going to say, I expect it would depend a lot on the audience and the diction that you're going for.

A slightly repressed 50 year old man, or a man in the company of women whose sensibilities he didn't want to offend, might simply stand up and say "Excuse me." And then leave to go take a leak without mentioning it at all.

A 50 year old man around his buddies at a fishing camp or in the locker room would probably say "Gotta take a leak." Or use one of the more colorful phrases suggested above.

I did notice on a recent trip to Canada that Canadians tend to call the bathroom the washroom, whereas we tend to use bathroom or restroom rather than toilet or washroom. So I would definitely use restroom or bathroom.

I started to say that bathroom was slightly more common, but then I realized something.

I only use restroom to describe public restrooms--like one in a hotel at the conference room level, or in a restaurant, or a library, or a building at a university.

I would never call a bathroom in someone's house a restroom.

I might call a restroom a bathroom, but the other ways around (a private home's bathroom a restroom?) never.

Hope that helps.

Date: 2009-02-11 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taste-is-sweet.livejournal.com
I would want to add to this that if the fifty year old was from, say, Minnesota or elsewhere in the Northern US, he'd say washroom. The South uses Restroom, and you can say that in a house and no one will look at your oddly.

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