Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Nov 5 22:21:48 UTC 2011

When looking at the histories of words, I sometimes wonder how a word could have gained certain connotations and changed. An excellent point of reference is "throne," which is a bizarre contemporary example.

The AHD labels the meaning of "toilet" for "throne" as facetious. The OED labels it as figurative and colloquial. The two most recent OED quotations have the word in quotes. Wiktionary labels it as colloquial.

I think it's time to accept the fact that "throne" is here to stay and toss the labels. Here are two more citations. Both articles include the word "toilet" to prime the reader but it is only a matter of time.


"Bells and whistles descend upon the throne" by Sam Brobart, October 21, 2011, from the New York Times.

The Numi costs $6,400 or 81 times the price of the basic throne at Home Depot.


"Edible Excretions: Taiwan's Toilet Restaurant" by Natalie Tso, March 2, 2009.

Toilet creations aren't new to China. The ancient Chinese may have been the first to use the throne — a flush toilet was found in a tomb of a Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 24) king — and they invented toilet paper in the 6th century.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society -

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