Home LifestyleCulture Bathroom & Washroom: Are They The Same?

Bathroom & Washroom: Are They The Same?

by Logan

No doubt that English is a complex language, and it’s made even more difficult when different words are created for the same concept.

In the English language, there are many dialects and as every dialect is different from one another, different words with the same meaning are created.

Bathroom and washroom are two terms that are used in different dialects, both of them may have the same meaning, but they are used in different dialects.

When you want to go to the bathroom or toilet urgently, it can get frustrating that you don’t know which word to use in order to get your meaning across. There are many similar words for bathroom, such as restroom, washroom, toilet, loo, or lavatory, they may seem to have the same meaning for you, but all these terms have different meanings and are used in different countries.

People often get embarrassed at the mention of bodily functions. As different cultures, as well as countries, use different words in order to refer to the need of relieving oneself, it’s quite useful to have the knowledge about all the correct words to use in different countries.

The only difference between a bathroom and a washroom is that bathroom can have toilets with the bath or shower, while the washroom can only have a toilet and a sink.

a really clean bathroom
The term ‘bathroom’ originated in the year 1780

The term ‘bathroom’ was used to refer to a room which was consisted of a bath or shower, however, people started to put toilets and sinks in those bathrooms to save space.

In British dialect, the term “bathroom” is still used to refer to a room which is consisted of a bath or shower. Moreover, there are several other countries that use the term “bathroom” to refer to a bath or shower-contained room, it includes, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand.

However, in the American dialect, the term “bathroom” is used to indicate a room that contains a toilet. In addition, this is solely used in connection with the toilets in homes, this surely doesn’t denote the toilets that are in public.

South Africans on the other hand, have had immense exposure to American English through the television, thus they use the term “bathroom” to indicate a room that contains a toilet, however, South Africans use this term for the public as well as residential toilets.

In Canadian dialect, the term “washroom” is used to denote a room that contains toilets and sinks. This can apply to residential as well as public facilities.

In the United States, the “washroom” isn’t used very much, it’s primarily used in Chicago. In American and British dialects, the term “Washroom” is used to denote a laundry or a utility room.

Keep reading to know more.

Is a washroom the same as a bathroom?

a sink next to a toilet
Sometimes a washroom is referred to as a bathroom despite having different definitions.

A washroom only contains a toilet and a sink, while a bathroom contains a bath or a shower and it often contains toilets as well.

Both washroom and bathroom can refer to the same room, however in many dialects, both are used for a different room, thus washroom and bathroom aren’t the same.

Moreover, a washroom can refer to public as well as residential facilities, whereas a bathroom only refers to residential facilities.

A bathroom is mostly used in the American dialect, while a washroom is mostly used in the Canadian dialect.

Are bathroom and restroom the same?

a bathtub
For several other English speakers, a “restroom” is a room where you can sit down in order to rest.

A bathroom and restroom aren’t the same, as a bathroom is a room that has a bath or a shower with a toilet and a sink, while a restroom is a comfortable room next door to a toilet in public establishments. Moreover, the bathroom is used for residential facilities, whereas the restroom is used for a room which is in public establishments.

The term “restroom” was developed for the rooms that contained comfortable sittings areas that were next door to the toilets in restaurants or theatres and other entertainment establishments. Moreover, such rooms were only common from 1900 to the 1970s.

However, the meaning of the term “restroom” now has been changed. It’s mostly used by Americans to refer to a room that contains toilets and sinks in public facilities.

Furthermore, in several upmarket entertainment facilities all over the world, you can find washrooms as well as restrooms. A washroom is for the people who want to use the toilet and wash their hands, additionally, some washrooms may even contain showers. Restrooms on the other hand are rooms to sit and rest in, however, some can have adjacent toilets.

Here is a table for the differences between bathroom and restroom.

BathroomRestroom
The rooms that contain a bath or a showerA room that is equipped with comfortable sitting areas
Now, people included the toilet and a sinkNow restrooms are the rooms that contain a toilet and a sink in the public facilities
The bathroom is used for the residential roomsA restroom is used for the public facilities
Difference between bathroom and restroom

Why do we call it a bathroom?

The term “bathroom” originated in 1780 and it was used to denote a room that contained a bath or a shower, however as people wanted to save space, they started including toilets and sinks as well in the same room.

The bathroom is solely used for baths or showers in the residential building.

When do we use a bathroom and washroom?

the common male and female sign on a wooden circle
The washroom is indicated as a room that has a toilet and a sink.

Bathroom and washroom are often used interchangeably, however, both can be used in different situations. The bathroom is used when one is going to take a shower or a bath, whichever your bathroom contains, while the washroom is used when one wants to relieve oneself by using the toilet.

A bathroom is indicated as a room that has a bath or a shower, however, it often contains a toilet and a sink as well.

The washroom is indicated as a room that has a toilet and a sink, in this room one goes to relieve oneself. Moreover, washrooms are referred to the public as well as the residential facilities.

Other words for bathroom

There are many words for “bathroom”, for instance, the loo, the toilet, restroom, and the lavatory. Every single word is used in different countries, for instance, the loo is used in the British dialect.

  • A lavatory: a room, building, or cubicle that contains a toilet or toilets.
  • Loo: a toilet.

Here is a video that tells you when and where to use the different words for “bathroom”.

Different words for the bathroom

To Conclude

  • There are 160 English dialects.
  • ‘Bathroom’ is used to refer to a room that consists of a bathtub or shower.
  • As people wanted to save space, they began including toilets and a sink in the bathroom.
  • In British dialect, “bathroom” is used to denote a room that has a bath or shower.
  • Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand also refer bathroom as a room that has a shower or a bath.
  • In Canadian dialect, “washroom” is used for a room which is consisted of toilets and sinks.
  • “Bathroom” is used in the American dialect, and “washroom” is used in the Canadian dialect.
  • “Restroom” is the room that has comfortable sittings areas and is adjacent to the toilets in restaurants or entertainment establishments.
  • “Restroom” currently refers to a room by Americans that have toilets and sinks in public facilities.
  • The bathroom is used when one wants to take a shower or a bath.
  • The washroom is used when one wants to relieve oneself by using the toilet.
  • Other words for “bathroom” are the loo, the toilet, restroom, and the lavatory.
  • The term “loo” is primarily used by the people who live in the United Kingdom.

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