‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #14 “loo”

We all know what a ‘loo’ is, right? And I ain’t talking about the nickname for a Louie, Louisa, or Luella or whatever other name you might shorten to ‘Lou.’

Rather, I am talking about the ‘loo’ that we use all the time, that we can’t live without, that makes our lives easy and hygienic…

I’m talking…

wrapped toilet paper on top of a toilet tank

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

This loo right there. The toilet.

So why the hell is it called a ‘loo?’

Well get set, because this potty business is fascinating stuff.

(Pun totally intended).

Firstly, the word ‘loo’ is of British origin, yet countries around the world have their own wacky nicknames for the smallest room in the house.

The Jacks.

Crapper.

Shit house.

Restroom.

The John.

Lavatory.

WC (for ‘water closet’)

Bog.

And with all of these insane names, all of which have weird stories behind them, one popular theory to the history of the word ‘loo’ comes from the cry of –

“regardez l’eau”

Which when pronounced sounds like ‘gardy-loo’

Which means “watch out for the water!”

This phrase came from medieval servants as they flung toilet waste from chamber pots out of second storey houses onto the street below, to warn passersby of the approaching excrement…

🤢

Yuck.

The second theory comes from the idea that all toilets were commonly located in ‘Room 100’ within buildings, and as the number ‘100’ and ‘loo’ look so similar, the word loo became synonymous with this room number and it’s subsequent function.

But for another likely term, we go back to the French. Again.

Because the word “lieux,”

pronounced as ‘loo,’

from the term “lieux d’aisance,”

meaning ‘places of comfort’ or ‘comfort stations,’ seems to be a rather fitting attribution, something that British soldiers may have picked up while in France for World War I.

James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses first makes mention of it in the following passage:

“O yes, mon loup. How much cost? Waterloo. Watercloset.”

A hilarious ‘loo’ anecdote points to a ‘Lady Louisa’ who was the unpopular wife of an Earl, who found herself the butt of a joke (so many puns!) when in 1867 while visiting friends, two smart arses as we would know them today to be, took the namecard off her bedroom door and stuck it to the bathroom.

This then resulted in the other visitors jokingly referring to using the bathroom as “going to Lady Lou-isa.”

🤣 Oh so cheap, but so good.

Perhaps it’s the simplest theory of all that makes sense, and might relate to the fact that iron cisterns back in the 20th century had the brand name of ‘Waterloo’ within their British outhouses…

But maybe we aren’t ever meant to know truly about the toilet???

Of course there are many other theories and people will argue the origin of it, of which none of us really knows.

But anyway, all things for you to think about and ponder next time you’re sitting on the dunny.

😂🚽🚾🚻🧻

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #3 “Easy peasy pumpkin easy”

I have only ever known it as ‘pumpkin easy.’ But my daughter insists, every time I say it this way, that it is in fact – “lemon squeezy!”

I honestly thought it was her stubborn nature as she often proves herself to be 6, going on 17 and all… until I did this google search…

“EASY PEASY…”

And the “lemon squeezy” result came up far more times than my “pumpkin easy” preference did!

It must be a generational thing. Hubbie too finished my testing ‘easy peasy’ opener with –

PUMPKIN EASY.

Ok, so besides who says it what way, what does it actually mean?

Simple. Like literally. It means super easy or extremely simple.

“See, we fold this here and there you go! Easy peasy pumpkin easy.”

“We turn right into this street and it’s there – easy peasy lemon squeezy!”

The original term is easy peasy. Common add ons can be:

Pumpkin easy, or

Lemon squeezy, or even

Japanese-y!

WHAT?!

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Photo by Orlova Maria on Unsplash

The latter part of the sentence contains playful words added on perhaps for the fact that it is often used in the company of children (hence my almost everyday use of it). It is an example of a rhyming duplication… think other examples like teenie-weenie, and super-duper.

The term ‘easy peasy’ was originally used in the 1940 American film called The Long Voyage Home. We can only guess at the lemon squeezy addition, with some believing it goes back to a British commerical for soap in the 50s-60s, where the slogan used was “easy peasy lemon squeezy” to promote its lemon-scented dish soap called “Sqezy” (pronounced squeezy).

America’s version was ‘easy as pie,’ used as far back as from 1976, but we can still see that the British term was in use much further back than when the US one arrived on the scene.

I for one, have no idea where the pumpkin came in… only to assume that it may have digressed from the ‘easy as pie’ expression, and someone thought that pumpkins (and their pies!) were easy… hence ‘easy peasy pumpkin easy’?

As for the ‘Japanese-y’ addition… a few sources cite that it comes from a silly childhood rhyme:

“Easy peasy Japanese-y

Wash your hair in lemon squeezy!”

Why I never. I can imagine there was more rhyming and schoolyard nonsense attributed to this version rather than a downright racial slur… but fair to say I will still be using the orange vegetable version thank you very much!

Do you sayeasy peasy”? Which version do you use?

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #2 “Don’t get your knickers in a knot”

The above phrase is also commonly referred to as –

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist.”

“Don’t get your panties in a knot”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

Collectively they all mean the same thing…

Don’t get too excited or upset, or

Calm/settle down.

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Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

There doesn’t appear to be a real definitive origin of the phrase, other than to say that the term “don’t get your knickers in a twist” appears to have come from Britain in the 70s, only to have moved along to the U.S and Australia and become their version of “don’t get your knickers in a knot.”

The term ‘knickers’ itself is a British one, and the phrase is primarily reserved for women and their lower apparel…

Although the first recorded literary mention seems to come from Wilbur Smith’s The Train from Katanga (1965) I have to quote the 1968 novel by Frank Norman, titled Barney Snip – Artist:

“Oh do stop it,” she gasped as their lips broke away from each other with a resounding plonk. “You’re getting my knickers in a knot!”

And that my friends, is an appropriate usage of the term ‘knickers in a knot’ don’t you think? 😉😂

(How’s about that ‘lips broke away … with a resounding plonk’! What is a plonk sound? How do lips parting, go plonk? Hmm). 🤔

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!