Go to the John Meaning

Where does the Phrase Go to the John come from? What Toilets are Important? Is it Rude to say Go to the John?
Go to the john

Go to the john is a commonly used informal phrase among people. It is often used by people when using the toilet. The john toilet refers to your regular toilet. Let’s explore this topic and find out go to the john meaning and other details.

1. Where does the Phrase come from?

  • It is believed that the term, go to the john, is derived from or at least made famous due to Sir John Harrington. Other toilet references like Cousin John, Jake, and similar common names existed before the birth of Harrington. He lived in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and was among Queen Elizabeth I’s 102 god-children.
  • His tendency to write risque poetry and vulgar things got him the name Saucy Godson. It got him banished several times but he was always accepted again after some time. Apart from writing, he also created Ajax, the first flushing toilet of Britain. The name was inspired by the word Jake’s common slang for a toilet at that time.
  • Harrington, soon, wrote A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax, considered to be his most popular work. It was about his flush toilet but also poked fun at the political situation referring to Stercus, the Latin word for excrement, intoxicating the state. The work got him banished for some time as it had alluded to the Earl of Leicester. (Also read Use of Fingers Crossed in a Sentence)

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2. What is Go to the John Meaning?

Apart from many who had used this phrase, it is mostly agreed that it is due to Harrington, toilets are referred to as John and not any other past names.  There are references of it dating back to 2600 BC, Harrington’s invention changed Britain at the time as he was presumed to be the creator of the flushing toilet. The phrase means, go to the toilet as it led to John being the meaning of toilet even today. His invention did exist and was set up in his home. It used a cord when pulled, quickly released water from a water closet to flush the waste. It was later created for the queen somewhere in 1596. (Also read Why is a Toilet Called a John?)

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3. Why Toilets are Important?

  • Toilet use is directly linked with social and economic development as it breeds a healthy society. Toilet use is critical for the healthy growth of all children in India and around the world as exposure to human waste causes serious illnesses such as diarrhea.
  • Every day in India, around 400 kids under five years die from diarrhea linked to poor sanitation and hygiene. India records the highest number of diarrhea-associated deaths among kids under five worldwide. Such sanitation-related illnesses can prevent youngsters from taking a nutritional diet that can cause malnourishment.
  • Stunting is also been correlated to open defecation. Nearly 38% of all Indian kids under 5 years are stunted i.e. their bodily and cognitive development is reduced which hinders their education. The impact of stunting goes beyond a toddler and can adversely affect groups and generations’ monetary and social improvement. Stunting affects minds, bodies, and lives.
  • For women, sanitation is vital for their health, security, and dignity. Toilets offer them a space to manage their menstrual hygiene and crucially reduce the danger of harassment while defecating in the open. (Also read Why do some people spend a lot of time in the bathroom?)

3. Is the John Toilet a Bad Word?

The phrase is considered rude in a formal event. It should only be used among friends. For official and more general events, the terms washroom or bathroom should be used as they sound less vulgar. All these phrases have the same meaning but they cannot be used everywhere. Their use varies according to the time, place, and company. (Also read Is Dunce A Bad Word?)

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4. What are the other Phrases used for Toilet?

Here are some other phrases people use when they have to go to the toilet

  • Going to the bathroom. It is the most commonly used term in all international locations, especially English-speaking ones. It originated in the U.S.A. in 1920 and confused the British travelers at the time.
  • Go and use the restroom. It is quite common in the US. Some English speakers may confuse it with a bedroom. First used in the early twentieth century, the rest in the restroom alludes to refreshing oneself.  (Also read Different Words for Breasts)
  • Use the loo. Used frequently in Great Britain and Ireland, it is a courteous way to refer to the toilet. Although its origin remains a mystery.
  • Take a piss. The word Piss originates from a lewd Latin verb pissiare and that is why this phrase should only be used among friends.
  • I have to pee. It is a colloquial phrase to indicate your wish of using the toilet. The use of the word Pee, however, can come off as unmannered. Short for a piss, Pee as a term started being used in the 18th century denoting the first letter of Piss.
  • Relieve Myself. It is considered a humorous way to refer to the toilet but is seen as mannerly. (Also read Mc Vs. Mac Debate)

So you know the meaning and can use the phrase go to the john on an informal basis or surprise your friends with the other phrases mentioned in the article. Let’s conclude the article with this witty Andy Rooney quote, I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. (Also read Go Dawgs Sic Em Meaning)

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