Different cultures have different names for bathrooms or toilets. Some prefer to call it a restroom, while others use the word washroom for the same place. People sometimes use the human name to refer to the bathrooms. For example, John is a human name that refers to toilets.
Why is a Bathroom Called a John? A bathroom is called a John to refer to the inventor of the flushing toilet John Harington. The word is also derived from the Jake and Jack term that refers to the filthy indoor restroom. People usually do not use the term John, but in some areas of England and America, it is still used to refer to bathrooms.
There are two main reasons people use the word John for toilet and bathroom. Here is a brief description of both of them.
Referring to the inventor of the flushing toilets
Urinating and defecating in a private place have revolutionized in this era of advanced technology.
People can now use portable toilets and carry their disposed off contents to farther places. But do you know who first invented the concept of flushing waste to a far-off place? John Harington was the first person who invented the flushing toilet.
This is the main reason people call the bathroom the john. People are referring to the inventor by calling this name for the lavatory.
John Harington was born in the era of Queen Elizabeth 1. He was the grandchild of the queen and was famous for his poetry and invention.
He first invented the flushing toilet and named it AJAX. It was invented in the late 1500, and various advancements have occurred in the basic mechanism.
He then published a book, A discourse on the stale subject, Called the Metamorphosis of Ajax, to describe his invention in detail. He first invented a private toilet for his house. After this, he built a separate loo for Queen Elizabeth in her room.
Later, Thomas Crapper invented the first ceramic flushing toilet line with an s-shaped pipe beneath the bowl. John is also known for his invention of other sanitary accessories like Office trailers, portable toilets, and storage compartments.
Derived from the word Jake and jack
In the middle ages, people do not have spacious bathrooms. They usually go outside in an open area for defecation.
Women have to find some secret spot to relieve themselves. Disposing of the shit was the real challenge for the workers. In these times, the word Jake and jack is used for all the common objects.
Later, the word refers to a smelly and dirty restroom inside the house. Indoor washrooms are present on the higher portion of the house. The waste fell deep into the ground or separated enclosed areas.
Indoor washrooms were rare in those days. Only royals or elites can have indoor restrooms, while others have to go outside. The word Jake or Jake’s house is a euphemism for the toilet.
The Jake is a type of bathroom without a flushing system. It consists of a hole, and the waste is disposed off to the outside of the house. People also use John’s cousin’s term for the restrooms.
What does the John toilet look like?
John Harington used the concept of gravity to flush out the waste from the house. The waste is expelled to the outside in the streets.
The john toilet consists of a 2 feet bowl that has a cistern upstairs to provide water to flush out the shit. The bowl is waterproofed with resins and other waterproofing materials.
The water tank has a hole in the bottom pan. The hole is sealed with leather to prevent the water from draining out.
However, the handles and levelers force the seal to open and push the water toward the bowl. As a result, the water carries all the waste with its flow to the outside.
This type of flushing toilet requires 7 to 8-gallon water to flush out all the waste. But the flushing process creates a lot of noise inside the house. For years people have stuck to their old pit or pot washrooms. So they were not willing to accept this new invention.
Alexander Cumming patented the flush toilet, and Thomas crapper made the first flushing lines. Today’s flushing bathrooms are more advanced than the middle ages bathroom.
They have water tanks attached to the bowl valves to flush water and toilet paper. They have variable styles and designs, but the flushing mechanism is the same in all of them.
Do people still call the bathroom the John?
usually, people refer to this place by other names like restroom lavatory or loo. It is an outdated term people find it offensive to use it.
They are shy to use these informal words and encourage using the more sophisticated word to refer to such places.
But in some countries, the word John is still used to refer to the toilet. People in England call it John to refer to John Harington. Americans also use the term, John, for washrooms.
The residents of the United States also pay tribute to the inventory calling this name. No country other than these countries use the word John for the restrooms. Sometimes people use it as slang for the bathroom.