Where is the restroom?

"Excuse me sir, can you tell me where the toilet is?" I asked a security guard in Southern Miami.

"a what?"

I spoke a bit louder, "Toilet. Where's the toilet?"

"Sorry I don't get you..a what?"

Then I articulated slowly, with my voice louder "To-i-let. Can you tell me where the toilet is?"

"What's that?" he looked dumbfounded.

On the next second it struck me.

"Ah! Restroom! Can you tell me where the restroom is?"

"It's right down this hallway, turn left and go to the second floor..."

What a buffoonery. Being educated with British English my entire life, it would still take quite a while before I could speak the same language with Americans, haha.

Americans don't use the word "toilet". They use "toilet bowl" for the lid you're s(h)itting on, but they use the word "restroom" for the actual room that they go to when they have a call of nature.

Finally Woken  – (19 July 2009 at 11:27)  

Really? Even people in non-English speaking country know about restroom and toilet. Have asked in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Vietnam, among others, with no bothers. Probably the person you asked was just deaf :D

toshi  – (19 July 2009 at 22:20)  

it's more like a nappy-diaper issue or candy-sweets thing.

i dunno if the British speakers also have such a penchant, but Singaporeans (who largely adheres to the British standard) prefer to call "permen" as "sweets", not "candy"

this restroom-toilet issue is perhaps more of a lingo fanaticism thing. Would you call your own child as "budak" (=slave/child) or "anak" (=child)?


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