CHAT Loo (was: Lavatories, bathrooms,...etc)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, February 28, 2004, 8:11|
On Friday, February 27, 2004, at 02:11 PM, Peter Bleackley wrote:
> Staving Tristan McLeay:[snip]
>> Only 'toilet' and 'loo' are in my active vocab, I
> "Loo" is from the Middle English "Gardy loo!", in turn derived from the
> Norman French "Gardez l'eau!", the traditional warning given before
> emptying the bucket out of the window.
That's one _theory_ of the origin. Some version localize the cry "Gardez l'
eau" as being peculiar to Edinburgh.
Another theory is that the term is of maritime origin. In a boat it was
important, if you weren't to get oneself wet in the process, to make sure
you relieved yourself over the loo (loo'ard/ leward) side of the boat and
not over the windward side (Go figure - as they say). So sailors,
fisherman et alii would talk of 'going to the loo'.
Yet another theory is, indeed, that it's just an anglicized pronunciation
of French 'lieu' which, as Philippe
suggested, was probably short for "lieu d'aisance'".
On Friday, February 27, 2004, at 02:59 PM, Philippe Caquant wrote:
> I think *les lieux* is a short form for *les lieux
> d'aisance*, sthg like *comfort places* or *places to
> ease oneself*.
My dictionary just says "[Ety. dub]" and that, in fact, is the case. We
simply cannot be certain of the origin of 'loo' = 'lavatory'/WC etc etc
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760