Garde a l’eau!

By  | May 19, 2017 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

The assumption that Crapper invented the flushing toilet in untrue. The device was created by Sir John Harington, a courtier of Elizabeth I, who had a ‘john’ built at the palace. It was developed by Alexander Cummins, whose device allowed a modicum of water to remain in the bowl to prevent seepage from the sewers. Crapper did popularize the loo and made it an accepted domestic fixture. The notion that Crapper gave his scatological name to feces is just crap. The word ‘crap’, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, derives from the Middle English ‘crappe’, meaning chaff or residue from rendered fat.

The British word for toilet, “loo”, derives from the French “garde a l’eau!” In medieval Europe people had little conception of hygiene and threw the contents of their chamber pots out the window into the street below. In France the practice was preceded by “garde a l’eau!” (“watch out for the water!”).

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