Sunday 9 October 2011

Random Thoughts ... Sharon Mayhew and our meeting ....

Medieval toilet – Garderobe at
Peveril Castle, Derbyshire
It went down the pan! – but considering the subject of our chat and emails at the end of August I am really not surprised.  Anyone who can spend a few hours discussing toilets via email and Googlechat– probably needs ‘Random Thoughts’.

We were going to meet ... all things being equal: but they weren’t and the important people were Sharon’s grandparents, who were obviously delighted to see her, but as she quickly realised were not at all well.

Sharon and Macy
Very difficult for Sharon ... as I’m sure her grandparents would have been so thrilled and emotionally charged up to see her, but would also have been dreading the day (a few days later) when she had to leave.  I absolutely understand that her time with them would be very very precious, and I wasn’t going to take even an hour out of their lives.

Macy and Peaches - who will
be delighted to see Sharon again

So like some great plans –our meeting didn’t happen – one day.

Sharon called me up on chat with the words “I need help on an English word .. Would the toilet have been called the WC or the loo during World War II – and how do you spell ‘loo’?”

I thought she was going to ask me some intelligent question ... not what we called a lavatory, thunder-box, water closet, public convenience, toilet, loo ... when each term came into existence is another matter.  So I was slightly taken aback .. but had a jolly good laugh!

An outhouse at Goat Peak,
6,305 ft (1,992m) above sea level
 in the North Cascades,
Washington State
It’s not easy though ... there’s long drop, privy, the bog, outside WC, dug-outs, gents, ladies,  ... then there’s the name distinctions between the north or south of England ... and I’m sure Wales, Scotland and Ireland would have their own terms.   Then there’s the modern polite terminology – washroom, restroom ...

Then there’s the phrase ‘I’m going to spend a penny’ – when slot machines were put on the outside of the door ... released for a penny ..... now it’s 30p?!  Talk about inflation – but water is precious and does cost.

Roman Public Conveniences
Sharon gave me the background for her story – starting in London during WWII in a poor area, and then moves to Leek .... well honestly .... we’re talking leaks and now the storyline goes to Leek?!  I have no idea how the conversation went with Gary in Leek ... perhaps he’ll enlighten us ... should we wish to be after I came across this comment conversation – I am not sure.

Betsy of MyFiveMen posted her Friday View of an auction site .. beautiful – but no port-a-john ... trouble could be brewing?!  Fortunately the keys to the house arrive – so anxiety about this most basic of function turned to relief.  JennyFreckles left a comment: “As for port-a-johns, I just read that a Dutch train operator is providing special plastic bags on their trains that don’t have toilets!  Too gross!”  Well, frankly I hope no-one from what was British Rail has that bright idea here - chamberpots would be better?!

Sharon in our chat mentions that she must get an English dictionary when she comes over – I’m not sure if she did or not .. but I’d found an extra one published in 1952, that my mother had in her flat ... sadly it is still here!

A while ago I’d bought “The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language “– by David Crystal - he went on to be working with The British Library and was instrumental in the Exhibition “Evolving English” mounted by The British Library, I mentioned his accompanying book in this post.

This is what the critics have said about this Encyclopedia, while Wikipedia has some information on him – as well as links to his own site etc:

The back page blurb: This celebrated book offers a unique experience of the English language in all its richness and diversity.  Clear and accessible, it abounds with insights into how the language evolved and how it works.  Superbly illustrated throughout ... and is the most comprehensive general reference book on the history, structure and worldwide use of English ever written.

This is a deeply impressive book, for it packs between two covers virtually everything any normal person might care to know about English.The Washington Post Book World.

“.. bedazzles ... with an eye-popping presentation of .... the mother tongue” The New York Times.

I have been unable to think of a question this book cannot answer .. I will risk predicting that Professor Crystal will not be superseded much before the message sent into space on Voyager I ... receives an answer.”  The Times Literary Supplement.

I was going to show Sharon the tome – because I thought she might be interested in it ... then I went to AbeBooks for out of date books and found that it’s on offer for an incredibly low price (0.64p = one dollar!) – copies available in the States, the UK, Germany ...  – not a lot more than you have to pay to spend a penny!

Green glazed toilet with pigsty model.
China, Eastern Han dynasty
25 – 220 AD
So sadly we didn’t meet – but I know a lot more about lavatories than I expected to learn .. and I’m able to suggest that some of you might be interested in Professor David Crystal’s book ..  if you want more information – let me know.

A few questions and your help please ...

Word of warning: I’ve put back Word Verification – as I’ve been getting lots of anonymous wasters ... despite this I had another today who used WV – so watch your comments – and spam-delete them.  Check your followers too – if you don’t recognise them: delete them.

Secondly ... re commenting – some of you are very kindly (and in my humble opinion doubling your own workload) by replying with an email as well.  Is it not extra work?  .. I don’t like being rude – and will usually jot a note back .. but it’s doubling my workload too.  Also I see some of you don’t reply on the post itself .. which to me if I was a new commenter/follower would look like you’re not interested - .... I’d love to know what you think – please! 

British WW2 era “pre-fabs”,
still in use, Birmingham, England
Other than that we go on ... and I can only hope that Sharon’s visit had many benefits over and above the huge loss that I know she will have felt on her return to the States.

Sharon has said she’s thinking about writing a book on toilets sometime – as she takes photographs of them ... is she a little odd?!  “Gardez l’eau” if Sharon’s around by the sound of it ...

TheTelegraph – fascinating insight into prefabricated houses after the War .. including conditions, new status in prefab house ...   inspiring historical update by a 91 year old, who still lives there – having thought he’d hate it!

PS .. I got my Landreth Seed note-cards today .. they are great and I'll post separately some photos ... but to add to the toilet information:  Morning Glories are native to tropical America and arrived in Britain in 1621.  The original morning glories were deep scarlet in colour.  However because the New World morning glory resembled the Old World invasive weed, bindweed, the vine was not readily accepted in Europe.  Largely neglected until the Victorian era, the morning glory gained popularity as a way to disguise moveable privies.

Dancing in the Shadows of Love:  Congratulations – I forgot yesterday!  KarenG, Rubye, Patricia and Theresa ... you gals left your email and expressed an interest – so you are the 4 winners.  Judy Croome has said she’d send the four of you whichever version you would like ... OR:If they all prefer print I’ll send them print copies (it is a story more suited to reading as a print copy)

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories



I must say the subject is a wee bit different but thanks for all the information, It's surprising when I was in the US I was told it was the restroom, why anyone should want to rest there,

My late husband was brought up in a prefab, he was 6 yrs when he moved into one and it still stands today some 65yrs later, We visited it some years before his passing and his next door nieghbour asked us in, central heating had been installed and the outside all pebble dashed.It looked quite modern.

Have a good week

Bob Scotney said...

Hilary, there was piece in The Times this week about a girl (woman) who had invented a 'boginabag' which you use and then dispose of. Apparently she was given some money for development of her idea when she appeared on TV's Dragons' Den.

Unknown said...

Love your toilet talk! Also, I'm going to try and pick up that dictionary you mentioned. What an interesting read it must be.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

From Keith Davis of Easy Public Speaking:

Hi Hilary
Toilets - gents, ladies!
Do what the French do... they don't stand on ceremony, they just get on with it.

Now why can't the English be more like that?

BTW - can't see any verification code, just a space where it should be.

Well researched post H.


Does anyone else have a problem where the verification code doesn't appear?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. I like to entertain! This is a wee bit different .. but we do use the most extraordinary words and I certainly didn't cover them all ... I know 'rest rooms' .. strange description!

Interesting to hear about your husband and his prefab - The Telegraph article is very interesting if you get a chance to look ...

@ Bob - I think that must be something similar to JennyFreckles' comment .. amazing ... I wonder how many landfills we'll fill with 'boginabags' .. as well as disposable nappies (it takes 355 years for one of those to decompose?!).

I didn't see that Dragon's Den episode .. I wonder how she'll do .. I think I'd buy one or two!

@ Clarissa - thanks. Good - I'm sure you'll be really interested to read the English Language Encyclopedia .. it is full of good reference material.

@ Keith - sorry about the debacle re posting - but thanks for emailing me.

In some respects it's easy for you guys to get on with it - not quite so simple for us .. I remember someone who'd be 100 now - saying that's why the introduced French knickers .. ?!

Well - certainly .. if only everyone else could be like us the rest of the time?!

Does anyone else have a problem commenting - please email me ..

Thanks so much Yvonne, Bob, Clarissa and Keith ... cheers Hilary

Chase March said...

I know that we used to call the outhouse a kybo at Scout camp.

Most of the boys hated using them. The small wooden toilet huts would always smell. And there were too many flies as well. So, we'd sneak around to the bushes in the back instead.

Outhouses improved over the years though. The first ones were just wooden huts. They were built like a shelf with a hole cut out. Then someone started adding toilet seats, and now the newer ones had buckets that more closely remember the toilets we are used to.

Wow, I can't believe I'm adding to the toilet discussion.

Anyway, you ladies have a great day!

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Greeting !Thanks for sharing this info. It was nice reading. Why not? Toilets or Ladies Room etc. are part of our lives. So are the body parts that deliver the waste matter for us to defacate. As kids we did laugh and joke about things like that. Here in the US a lot of people are not joking that much about this very private issue or rather subject. I would not know the real statistis of colon or colo-rectal cancer but things are improving in the sense that people are eating right. We lost my brother in law because of colon cancer and now at any given time we all worry if any of my kids or neices or nephews talk about constipationetc. Your blog stirred up a lot of thought in my head, and I do not mean to offend you. If I did I do appologise. Cheers.

MorningAJ said...

You know about the Leek in Staffordshire? That's why there's a Poole in Dorset!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Chase .. you got your genders wrong somewhere - lots of men joining in this discussion.

Ah - a Kybo .. yes we're not keen on outside toilets as kids are we .. and you used to sneak around?

Yes - you are adding to the gents' & ladies' conversations .. hate to think what the Romans discussed in (or on) their loos - maybe that's why the roads are straight .. fastest route to the next loo?

Thanks for stopping by on your Thanksgiving Day! - Good dinner conversation?

@ Munir .. you're right - our bodies are critical to our life and bowel cancer is very serious and so often terminal. We just need to be aware ... and keep ourselves healthy. You haven't offended me - just opened the conversation to another important dimension.

@ Morning AJ .. why are people so quick witted and leave me standing? Brilliant comment - glad it's Yvonne and not me that lives near Poole!!! The Leek leaks down to Poole in our neck of the woods.

Thanks Chase, Munir and Morning AJ to adding some more light-hearted humour .. cheers Hilary

Old Kitty said...

Awwww well I hope lovely Sharon K Mayhew visits again. I wish her grandparents all the best of health too.

My ex's mum (who remembers the second world war as a little girl when everyone kept chickens and rabbits in their backgarden) always called the toilet "the lav" or "the little girl's room". Her hubby referred to his, as "the gents"!

Yay for toilets! Booo to spammers! Take care

Betsy Brock said...

Well I got a good chuckle from your post here, Hilary! Seems like we're all talking about toilets this week! haha. Have to say though, that although I like my clean, modern conveniences, that chamber pot is beautiful! :)

Anonymous said...

You've increased my vocabulary by at least 5-6 words today!! :) Never knew so many terms for the 'john" existed--lol! (that was the only American term I can add to the list!)

The english books really looks fascinating to me, I majored in English lit. in college and love to learn more about words, thanks for sharing that.

About's funny but I actually started responding to commenters after I observed you and Ella doing so on your blogs! Afraid I'm a follower in the field of blog commenting etiquette BUT I will say that when i only recieve and email response from a blog visit, I feel a little cheated, but that's just me.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Old Kitty - good to see you - I'm sure I'll catch Sharon here or there sometime. Yes - I hope her grandparents will remain as healthy as possible.

Interesting note re keeping chickens and rabbits .. we had chickens .. but myxomatosis came in in the 50s .. so rabbits were off limits because of the disease.

Yay for the lav, or the little girl's room or the gents ... and as you say boo to spammers -

@ Betsy - yes you've been toilet breaking too haven't you - just all tied in so well with 'going down the pan'. We had chamber pots - but they weren't this pretty and didn't have a lid! Good for your auction though ...?

@ Scarlett - not the sort of words you need to know are they .. and I forgot "john" .. ?!

Those two English books are fascinating .. a wonderful look at words and their etymology .. especially the Encyclopedia - if you can get it really cheap.

I was taught to reply to all comments .. and still do - but interesting that you picked that up from Ella and I.

I'm quite glad that you feel the same way about only receiving an email and that the blog comment itself is not replied too ..

That's me too ..

Thanks Old Kitty, Betsy and Scarlett .. great to have your added conversations .. cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm sorry Sharon's relatives weren't well and I'm sorry you didn't get to meet her.

I like that when I've visited Europe, it just says 'toilet'. There's no mixing up the word with 'bath'. Never heard of The Bog.

Aren't you glad we live in a time without chamber pots and using the liquid to bleach our clothes?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you didn't get to meet Shanon, although she was where she needed to be with her grandparents. Don't believe I've ever had a discussion about toilets though. Outside of how the heck do you fix one when the inards break.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Theresa .. I thought that might be a problem .. as they are very old and I was anxious .. it's sad - but Sharon was where she needed to be.

There's certainly no bathrooms here .. but we do get sign posts now and various other 'names' .. the bog is a colloquialism - probably old fashioned now-a-days.

@ Alex - I know it was sad that Sharon and I didn't meet up, but quite understandable ..

Oh well - there's always a first time for everything!? You'll remember it now?

Thanks Theresa .. and Alex - good to see you both .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

I remember in the 1940s when I was a child and my grandparents in a small Utah town had an outhouse. For a while after they got indoor plumbing, my grandpa, a fruit farmer, still used it! -:)

Wow! Certainly a lot of history and information about "toilets." Why not a book about them? I say to Sharon, Go for it!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Rubye Jack said...

Hilary, thanks again for facilitating the drawing for Judy Croome's book. I am very much looking forward to reading it.

Do you ever say "the john" as in going to the john, in England. I was hoping the train website would have a photo of the plastic bags but no such luck. I was curious to see how it might work for women.

I prefer using the comment moderator thing since I had a bit of a problem from an anon commenter for a bit there.

Joanne said...

It would've been fun to meet Sharon, but she was where she needed to be. It's always interesting to read about bloggers who meet up in reality, after virtually talking for so long.

Re: Commenting. I always answer my comments right on the blog. To me, it gets a dialogue going, which is the purpose of my blog, and many times other commmenters will jump in on something someone else said. It can get pretty interesting!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Oh, Hilary! I'm so sorry we didn't get a chance to get together. My Nanny had a serious diabetic incident that first morning I was there. It was very scary. It did give me the chance to see my Grandad in action and to meet their community nurse. She was fantastic. It was like she was part of the family. By the time I left on Thursday morning Nanny was doing some better, but she is still having a hard time. They are doing more tests on her to see what is causing her memory problems.

Thanks for not being mad at me. :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Sorry you didn't get a chance to meet Sharon, but hopefully you'll see each other on another visit. I hope Nanny is feeling better soon. I enjoyed your information about toilets, and make it a point to know where the nearest one is at all times. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann .. yes I guess our arrangements were similar in different countries - a lot of houses here had outside toilets and the 'buildings' are often still there - plumbing being added, as and when. Now the rooms are store houses, or have been included into the house itself.

I imagine your grandfather - got a bit of peace and quiet down there.

I'm sure Sharon has way more information on toilets - one day perhaps we'll see her publication.

@ Rubye - delighted you won a copy of Judy's book .. enjoy and we'll look forward to your feedback.

No - we don't say 'the john' .. I think it was mostly an American term .. have a look at 'traveljohn' on Google and Boginabag ... both portable loos .. the Boginabag looks 'good' ...

I used to use comment moderator - but when Judy's post came up, and this week I'll be away: I wanted the comments to get through - it seems to be safer, though I get irritated with the verification thing.

@ Joanne - it sure would have been interesting to meet in real life, but much more important she spent all her time with her grandparents - as you say where she was needed.

I agree with you re commenting - love to hear from people via email .. especially if there's a particular point they're interested in - that I might miss out on as others' comments come winging in.

@ Sharon .. seriously no worries - I was half expecting it - because life is very tenuous at their age. Yes - it is scary and worrying .. I'm glad your grandfather coped so well - he must be a marvel ... and both of them treasures.

So pleased the community nurse is so excellent and caring - many of them are .. my uncle and aunt had great friends with his helpers.

I'm pleased your grandmother is settling down .. it is so challenging sometimes to help at this stage - I hope they can both be as worry-free as possible -

Many thoughts for them as well as you .. and I certainly couldn't get mad - been there way too often for that - their life with you at that stage was what mattered. Have a good week back with your family and Macy and Peaches! Cheers and a hug Hilary

@ Julie - it was a pity, but as I mention above .. much better that we hadn't made fixed plans. One day I'll get to meet up with Sharon and many others I hope.

Me too - check out the signs and know the lingo .. I know a few more words now!

Thanks so much Ann, Rubye, Joanne, Sharon and Julie .. great seeing and have good weeks - Hilary

Talli Roland said...

I'm so sorry you didn't get a chance to meet. It's so difficult -- when I go home to see my parents, there are lots of people I'd love to see, but I need to give my parents first priority.

N. R. Williams said...

LOL Hilary...that was so funny. My mother built a bedroom for me in the basement of our home when I was a teenager. In one corner of my room she hid the water pipes for the house with a closet. Then she laughed hysterically and informed me that I had a water closet in my room. I didn't know until much later what she was talking about.

N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

Southpaw said...

Oh my but this post it a blast. I can't imagine a funnier conversation either.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Everyone .. I've posted as a PS in the post .. but just for your general fun information ..

PS .. I got my Landreth Seed note-cards today .. they are great and I'll post separately some photos ... but to add to the toilet information:

Morning Glories are native to tropical America and arrived in Britain in 1621. The original morning glories were deep scarlet in colour. However because the New World morning glory resembled the Old World invasive weed, bindweed, the vine was not readily accepted in Europe. Largely neglected until the Victorian era, the morning glory gained popularity as a way to disguise moveable privies.

Cheers - just a little extra .. Hilary

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss hilary! im real sorry you and miss sharon couldnt meet up. i know she was wanting to so much. yikes! i didnt know there was soooo much names for a toilet. thunder box got me laughing so hard. ha ha.
...big hugs from lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli - you're right it's trying to see everyone and spend time with the family - and they come first don't they. One day we'll all meet up ..

@ Carol - many thanks .. glad it's amusing everyone .. toilet humour usually does.

I know that putting on WV has stopped the anonymous commenters, except for that one that for some reason felt compelled to enter in the WV .. but usually we can tell as it's on an older post. So it's helped - so far ...

@ Nancy .. I know - my mother and I had many conversations where we laughed hysterically about toilet humour.

Your mother's story is hysterical too .. and my mother would have giggled at it ... can totally understand your mother's hysteria .. such fun!! Water closets - change their tune don't they!

@ Holly - good to see you .. it was an extraordinary discussion one Friday night .. just what we need to start the weekend off?!

Thanks everyone just so delighted that you're having fun .. cheers Talli, Carol, Nancy and Holly .. enjoy the week - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Helloooo Lenny - wonderful to see you .. I know it was a great pity - but grandparents come first and we'll meet next time she comes over I hope!

I've sent you an email .. please can you come back to me on it - thanks.

Thunderbox - yes that would amuse you - I can hear my brothers and their friends have a huge amount of fun using the sounds associated with a thunderbox .. dreadful - but for young kids such fun.

Do you know the song Three Old Ladies Lost in a Lavatory? We went round our garden on bikes singing it on and on - I was the ring-leader (being the eldest) .. my father, who was trying to work, was very unimpressed!! Very unimpressed - I suspect we had sore bottoms, or a very bad case of shouting to 'shut up' .... I suspect with no "please"!

Thanks for reminding me about that song! Great to see you here Lenny - you always add to our conversation .. have fun with the thunderbox idea! Cheers Hilary

Marinela said...

Hilary, thanks for facilitating post!

Love the toilet talk :) :)

Take care x x

Linda said...

Interesting post on the subject of potties. Not what I was expecting, I must say. With regard to the term restroom, a small number of upper scale establishments will have a separate area with a sofa, mirror, table, etc. where one might rest for a moment.

I remember using "chamberpots" when visiting my grandmother who had no bathroom but for a primitive shower, sink and toilet in the cellar. Not where you wanted to go in the middle of the night from the 2nd floor. We called them "thunder jugs".

There was another facility out in the back of the woodshed, but that was just a toilet seat covering a hole in something that looked like a bench. Everything just went down onto the ground under the shed.

Karen Lange said...

I would have been chuckling over the conversation about the loo too! What a blessing to have a friend that you can do that with. I am sure you were a great help to her. Perhaps your chance to meet again will come sooner than you might think.

Have a wonderful week! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marinela .. thank you .. glad you enjoyed it.

@ Linda .. yes some places have very upmarket sofas, chairs, dressing tables etc .. where I might go to sleep - given half a chance!

Gosh interesting bit of old history - and we used to have a cold (very) dark downstairs washroom .. I was not at all happy paying it a visit! Down two flights of stairs at night .. no thank you ... thunder jugs - now that's a new one - Lenny would love that!

The ancient outhouse .. yugh .. just under the shed .. not into a hole ... Some great friends lived in the Lake District and had a longdrop in the garden .. we covered the residue with composted peat ...

@ Karen - yes a good conversation as they say! It was a surprise certainly to be asked about toilets .. but I happily complied.

I'm sure we will meet up sometime relatively soon .. and few others of us too ...that will be fun.

Thanks Marinela, Linda and Karen .. enjoy the remaining week ahead .. cheers Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Sorry you didn't get to meet your friend. My brunch appointment with a writer friend was also cancelled. She had a funeral.

Delightful post! I've learned more about the English words for restroom in this post than I have in a lifetime. :)


Karen Jones Gowen said...

What a fact filled post, Hilary! I got a spam comment that Blogger didn't catch, but I deleted it, no problem. I'm not sure how to delete a follower tho, and not sure I could bear to, as I love to see those numbers go up!

I've taken to emailing commenters back, not always but occasionally when I have something specific to say to them. Because I can't always be sure they'll return to my post to see my response. I do it both ways, not sure which one people like best.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan .. I know I was so looking forward to meeting up with Sharon - but quite understood .. as I would have done with the circumstances for your friend.

Glad you enjoyed the post - interesting knowledge has appeared here ... and as you say rather a lot of words.

@ Karen - certainly some things similar to your Farm Girl necessities of life I expect.

I had one or two Blogger didn't catch and one or two that went through to spam that were perfectly legit ... essentially it's been right.

It's the foreign (usually) ones that were irritating appearing on posts all over the place and needing to be dealt with. So now WV is back on.

Emailing - yes that I can understand .. and I do the same replying with something specific to a person, which they may well not pick up in the post. Comments - that makes sense to me .. your approach.

Followers - that was a serious statement .. I'm sure some of the troubles we've been having (malware) came from followers with no backbone .. ie no link or any details .. but because they follow - they get easy access to your followers: so if you don't check them out ... they could mess up the works for you, or others.

I hate losing followers - but I'd rather have bona fide ones - so I'm ruthless at checking now.

Thanks Susan and Karen .. enjoy the week .. Hilary

MTeacress said...

Oh my word, I love it when bloggers help each other with things like this. I once helped a fellow blogger who didn't know what high school cheerleaders wear in the winter, since she grew up in perpetual warmth.

Have a lovely week, Hilary. :)

A Lady's Life said...


Well that was enlightening
I visit the powder room.
My husband visits the little boys
I like washrooms because this is where you go to wash your hands

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Michelle - it was a fun evening .. as you can imagine. There are so many subtle or plain obvious differences aren't there .. we need that help - and we can get it using the minds of our fellow bloggers.

@ A Lady's Life .. yes I too visit the powder room and I watch the men go off somewhere else!! 'Little boys' room' is a good one .. and definitely the washroom somewhere along the line ..

Oh I know bathroom - I don't think anyone's thought of that description ..

It's a funny old life - thanks Michelle and a Lady's Life .. enjoy the rest of the week - Hilary

Anonymous said...

Oh Hilary! What a delightful read. I am still smiling. My youngest called it something different entirely. When new to using the big boy's toilet, he'd ask me take him. Normally, this would happen just as I had sat down with a cup of tea...One day he called out,
"Mummy, I want the toilet for he'ssake". It could have been worse I suppose but I was careful how I greeted his request in the future!
Interesting and informative as always. Thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

H Deborah .. that's fun! I can imagine .. your son's dilemma - the urge takes on a faster need! "He's sake" .. is a great phrase ..

Oh yes - just when we want to relax .. a new aspect/request comes to the fore .. and we need to get up and attend to it. I find the same thing happens at my mother's bedside ...

Glad you enjoyed it - thanks for coming by - cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

What a fun and fact filled post, Hilary. I didn't expect to find toilet talk here. I'm still smiling.

Sorry to didn't get to meet Sharon but I'm sure you will one day.

No problems commenting. The WV looks just fine.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shirley .. many thanks for coming by .. at least it's light-hearted! I was bemused by our Googlechat! I still laugh about Mum and my toilet chat .. one day I shall tell the stories!

It was a pity that we didn't meet - but that's the way it goes sometimes and as you say one day ...

Thanks re the commenting - just some still get lost in that space out there ... cheers Hilary

jabblog said...

You still have the pleasure of the anticipation of meeting your friend:-)
Another nice, meaty post, Hilary - lots of information and now I've added two more books to my library!!
re: Comments - sometimes I respond to comments in the comment thread, at other times I go to the commenter's blog - no rhyme or reason to it! I don't usually respond through email but rather like it when people email me.
Have you read 'The Specialist' by Charles Sale? It's a gentle insight into the business of building privies.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. yes I do - that is right and it will be a real pleasure when that happens.

Oh good .. glad you've added the David Crystal books to your reading list - enjoy.

Comments .. if there's a WP blog and we can reply to appropriate comments directly .. whereas here (Blogger) we and I have to reply as and when I get here.

I think a few bloggers are starting to use email .. I expect some commenters only use email .. I agree it is nice to be contacted re something relevant ..

No I haven't read 'The Specialist' .. Sharon certainly would be interested re the book I'm sure .. thanks for telling us ..

Have a good afternoon - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. having just checked I see he's mentioned in Wikipedia .. interesting biography ..

Chic Sale - American actor and vaudevillian ...

Thanks again .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice - nothing like commenting on my own blog:

For many years--even after his death--"Chic Sale" was used as a euphemism for an outhouse. He is known to have found this unflattering, calling it "a terrible thing to have happen."

Poor chap .. but another name for a loo!

J.L. Campbell said...

All of the information you've gathered is why I don't write historical fiction and why I admire the people that do. Lots of research and making sure you get terms and facts exactly right.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JL - good to see you .. certainly the dialects, our own indigineous languages .. there are so many variants - I can quite understand saying you'd steer clear ... it was an interesting question to have .. and I'm glad I turned it into a post .. I've learnt something!! Cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Too bad your meet up plans with Sharon didn't work out, but it's quite understandable. Sharon asks the kinds of questions that I would. It's good to be accurate in write so you won't be caught using an anachronism. Accuracy adds a lot to one's credibility. I too like the idea of finding older reference publications in the hard copy. I don't always trust what I find on the internet.

Tossing It Out
Please see my guest post at:
So You Want to be a Writer?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. yes life is like that - very sad, but that's the way it panned out.

I quite agree - but going into the minefield of toilet names in England .. is to say the least of it mind boggling .. a great many.

Yes I try and give my blog posts a little extra to bring it to life, and add timings in via the dates etc .. just makes it more plausible and probably true.

Glad you too appreciate everything on the internet is not necessarily accurate - I suspect many believe what they see.

Thanks - lovely having your comment .. cheers Hilary

Janet Johnson said...

I sure do love Sharon! And what a great question. :) So nice to be able to help each other in the areas we think are mundane. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. yes it would have been just great to have met up .. I hope she resolved her 'naming' issue - I'm not sure I'd like to attempt that and I live here!

Exactly as you say we can help each other in so many ways .. - mundane, basic or otherwise .. cheers Hilary