"I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead." - Samuel Goldwyn
Question #6019 posted on 06/05/2004 12:28 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,
Wher did the toilet get it's name? Where did the porter potty get it's name?
- Huh!

A: Dear Huh!,

Toilet comes from the French word toilette (a diminutive of toile, or a cloth or net) and was originally used in reference to a piece of cloth used as a wrapper for clothes. The word was subsequently used to reference the act or process of dressing, and later washing or grooming. Thus, a dressing room became known as a toilet, especially a dressing room with bathing facilities or attached to a room with bathing facilities. Eventually the lavatory itself became known as a toilet, and then eventually the, er, lavatory bowl.

As for porter potty (or porta potty), it's called such because it's a potty that's portable. And the potty part of it originated in baby talk for chamber pot.

-Leibniz
A: Dear Huh!,

Or (if you believe my high school biology teacher) from its inventor, the immortal John Crapper, Esq.

~Eowyn