The throne in the John

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Jun 3 00:23:22 UTC 2013

With citations back to 1922, the OED says, about the word throne: fig. A lavatory bowl and pedestal or other supporting structure. colloq.

I think this is trying to hard. How about "toilet"? The toilet in an outhouse qualifies as a throne. See, for example,

A 65-year-old Canadian man had a trip to the outhouse that he’ll never forget.... "I'm sitting on the throne, and my feet are sort of up on the 'poopstool,' we call it," he told CBC.

Wiktionary ( says: The lavatory or toilet.

This definition leaves one to wonder whether the restroom itself can be referred to as a throne, which I doubt. My suggestion of "toilet" may cause a similar problem with English speakers in many countries.

On 27 May, the New York Times (Bret Schulte) also demonstrated that the word "throne" is not so figurative (

Rodents are using the toolbox in the stone-carving station as a throne, so to speak.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list