Word of the Week (199): BRASCO (probability 11453), by David Sutton

BRASCO (plural BRASCOS) is Australian slang for a lavatory. Humanity in general, and Australians in particular, seem addicted to dysphemisms for this particular structure. Apparently Aussies may also speak of a BOGGER, a SHOUSE, a DUNNY and a KYBO, the last being a temporary toilet used when camping. I presume that DUNNY comes from the old term DUNNAKIN, with variants DONNIKER or DONNICKER.

Scots refer to a CLUDGIE, while in the US the term seems to be JOHN or BIFFY. Then we have KAZI and its variants CARSEY, KARSEY, KARSY, KARZY and KHAZI: there is some dispute as to whether this derives from Italian casa, house, or from Arabic kursi, chair.

South Africans speak rather coyly of a KLEINHUISIE ('little house'). My personal preference is for JAKES (plural JAKESES), with its noble Shakespearean associations: in 'King Lear' Lear's man Kent takes exception to a serving-man Oswald and threatens to 'tread this unbolted villain into mortar and daub the walls of a jakes with him'.

And now perhaps I have made you privy to enough of my thoughts on this matter...


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