Loo Interlude

French loo terms… In polite society the French will call the loo, the WC (pronounced VAYSAY). French people visiting England for the first time will ask, in good faith « where is the WC ? » failing to grasp that in Britan we write it on the door, but no ne has asked for a WC since Queen Victoria herself was on the throne.

In French, a « bog » is referred to as a « chiotte » (she-ott), dériver from the verb « Chier » (shee-ay) which probably needs no translation. This, to my knowledge is the only real vulgar French term for referring to the toilet.

French life is far less toilet-focussed that British life. Excretion is a fact of life, not a source of humour. I put this down to gastronomy. The French spend so much time preparing and eating fine food, it almost seems a shame to get rid of it, whereas the Brits traditionally have a very average record on victuals, with food being so awful, you and your body are only too happy to get rid of the stuff. Moreover, it is only in Britain where we seemed to be obsessed with the rythm of our basic back body function. Never in France have I met people who are worried about being « regular », though this has changed in recent years with the fad for dieting.

In France you can « chier » but you can also « pisser » (pissay) or « pisser un coup » (pissay ern coo) meaning to have a piss. Kids don’t piss, they do

« pipi » (pee pee) or wee, and they go for a « caca » or a poo.

My favourite French loo phrase is « couler une bronze » (coolay oon bronze) meaning to pour molten metal into a mold to make a statue, or have a long slow curling poo.

As for Winnie the Poo, he should be Winnie caca, but instead is Winnie Oursin (meaning Winnie the little bear.).

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