Professor & Madman; F-Word; Cottaging; DWB; Dutch auction

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon May 3 17:01:43 UTC 1999


this is strictly british.  public restrooms are located in small
buildings called (in slang) COTTAGES, hence the verb meaning to
use these buildings for sexual assignations.

such structures are not uncommon in various u.s. places - there
are some on the stanford campus - but i have never heard them
referred to as cottages here (undoubtedly because the word
is not at all common in reference to dwelling places).

what i am not at all sure of is how widespread the noun COTTAGE
is in the u.k.  in my experience, any gay man in england, scotland,
or wales can be expected to know the term, but i believe it is
more widely used than that.  (i could be wrong; it could be
entirely analogous to american english T-ROOM/TEA ROOM.)  certainly
the *verb* COTTAGE is restricted to gay usage, for the obvious
reason that most non-gay speakers are in unfamiliar with the practice.

arnold (zwicky at

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