Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #9260 posted on 10/25/2004 4:15 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Who came up with the name for the toilet or the latrine????????????????????????????
- (brother from another mother but is from da west side)

A: Dear brother,

I can't give you the exact person's name (and new word coinage doesn't usually work that way, anyway) but I can give you general etymologies. The word "toilet" comes from the word "toile," which means cloth. It came to be a more general term for the objects of daily hygiene (think "toiletries") and then became a euphamism for the--uh--WC.

The word "latrine" comes (indirectly) from the latin "lavare," which means "to wash," so a latrine is a place where one washes up. (And again, became a euphamism for--toilet.)

- Katya