A Conversation for Dunnies
Researcher 172720 Started conversation May 2, 2001
Where I live in the U.S. we call dunnies "biffies", possibly a mispronounciation of privie? I have a question that I have been asked to help answer. I can go along with the weeds and grass for toilet paper, but what did the "old timers" use when there was no more weeds or grass? As in a military post? Or a field hospital?
Anyone have any helpful ideas? Thanks, Elfinstone
Researcher 170889 Posted Jun 7, 2001
In winter snow is great - cleans and washes! In the Middle Ages curved sticks were left in public facilities for use and - gasp! - re-use. Since these facilities had no windows one often misjudged their grab at the stick giving rise to a saying akin to 'getting the *wrong* end of the stick'. In the Middle East (where I lived for years) and in rural India, water is used, rather than paper. In new homes there is a flexible metal hose that turns on and off like a faucet, but in older homes and hotels, I discovered only pitchers of water which too late it dawned on me, you pour with one hand while washing with the other. If using natural items in the wild like sticks and leaves, it behooves you to learn to recognize poison ivy, oak and other skin irritating flora before cleaning your tender parts with them.
Ralph, the Janitor - Keeper of Magic Tricks that don't work (and some that do!) Posted Aug 22, 2001
The idea of "handedness" (i.e. right handedness being good and left handedness being bad) originated in toilet habits. The left hand was normally used to "clean" one's self, therefore the habit of only shaking hands with the right hand, and so forth! The whole thing seems rather absurd now, but "when 'ya gotta go, 'ya gotta go..."
Researcher 195837 Posted Jun 4, 2002
I remember hearing that the Sears & Roebucks catalogues were valued more for their usefulness in toileting than ordering.
Also the first person to install a flush toilet in the U.S. White House was a man named John Crapper, thus the colloquial term of having to "go to the Crapper" which developed to "taking a Crap"
brislib Posted Oct 31, 2002
Dunnies up the backyard on the Australian urban quarter acre block were frequently concealed behind a fine flourishing passionfruit vine. No doubt other vines were usable, but the dunnies I was personally acquainted with some 65 years ago all had passionfruit vines. Several I know of also had chookyards close at hand , whence the vines drew their nutrients.
Going *up the back* often led to long conversations over the fence -- or even from within adjoining dunnies -- with neighbours about the same business
The dunnycart , often the subject of coarse juvenile jokes * would gain access for the pans to be lifted and removed via a lane at the back of the houses . I personally remember democratically greeting the sanitary man ( he often being rather looked down upon as lower in the social scale ) to have the greeting returned with the plaint :
" God, I wish people didn't EAT so much ! "
* joke examples : ( for ages 5 -9 )
Q . What has four wheels and flies ?
A. the sanitary cart .
Q, What's a humdinger ?
A. A s**tcart with bells on
YOGABIKER Posted Jan 8, 2005
I can't leave this topic without mentioning a park dedicated to a surviving TWO STORY OUTHOUSE in the little town of Gays, Illinois, USA.
Probably the funniest tourist stop I've ever visited.
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