January 17, 2020

Name of Thrones

When nature calls, you use “The John” because England’s earliest flush lavatory was developed by Sir John Harrington, godson of Elizabeth I, although he called his creation “Ajax.”

Centuries later, British manufacturer Thomas Crapper developed the ballcock, a flushing mechanism still used today. His name appeared on these widely-used flush toilets in Europe, which became known as “crappers.”

Brits also call the toilet “the loo.” Before flush toilets, many Europeans did their thing in chamber pots, then threw the contents onto the street below, a practice which now might get you arrested. Before throwing, the courtesy was to yell out “Guardez l’eau!” (“Look out for the water!”), which eventually got shortened to just “loo” to mean toilet.