Customers queue to buy toilet paper in a Hong Kong supermarket in February. Photo: AP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Toilet paper has been top of shopping lists for weeks, but where did the term originate?

  • ‘Toilet’ was first euphemistically applied to the room containing a WC in the 1700s
  • In mid-20th century Britain, saying ‘toilet’ instead of 'lavatory’ identified the speaker as non-upper class
Customers queue to buy toilet paper in a Hong Kong supermarket in February. Photo: AP
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