Why Is It Called A Restroom?

Have you ever thought about the phrase ‘restroom’ and asked yourself why it’s called that? Have you ever been curious to know why humans have designated a room for regular bathroom breaks?

It’s something that many people take for granted but can be interesting to learn about. In this article, we will explore the origins of the term ‘restroom’, how it has evolved over time and what it means today. So read on to know the answers to your questions and understand why it’s called a restroom!

Why is it Called a Restroom?

For those of us who don’t always stop and think of the origin and implications of certain terms, the question of why a bathroom is called a restroom may appear to have a very simple answer—after all, what else would you call a place to rest?

Although this may be a logical assumption, it turns out that this isn’t actually the case. In this article, we’ll be exploring why it is that bathrooms are called restrooms, and uncovering the interesting etymology behind this now-accepted convention.

Origins of the Term

The term “restroom” is actually something of a recent development in the English language, only existing for just over a century.

Prior to this, the word “toilet” was the most common term for a room which is used for personal hygiene. Interestingly, “toilet” itself only began to be used as a reference to a bathroom relatively recently, during the 17th century. Prior to this, it was used in reference to the dressing and grooming of oneself, particularly as a means of improving one’s appearance.

The term “restroom” actually originated in the early 20th century, gaining some traction during the 1910s. This could be attributed to a gradual hesitancy to refer to a bathroom by its more crass, historical moniker of “toilet”.

As a result, “restroom” provided an acceptable alternative, coming to denote a place in which one may wash up and rest.

Modern Conventions

The term “restroom” can now be used as an accepted euphemism for a bathroom in both a figurative and literal sense.

On top of its increased prevalence as a comfortable substitute for other, more-dated terms, it serves as a polite way both of expressing the purpose of the room and of referencing the activities that may be carried out within, such as relieving oneself, grooming, and other hygiene-related tasks. It is for this reason that the phrase “restroom” appears commonly on signage and within requests for directions to a place of relief. This can also be seen in the names of certain products such as air fresheners and wipes, which often use the term to denote their function—to provide an enhanced environment of cleanliness, comfort, andrest within the confines of one’s restroom.


The term “restroom”, while relatively recent in terms of its development and usage, is now an accepted euphemism for a bathroom. This lends it a polite implication and is used to denote specific products whose functions are geared towards providing comfort and cleanliness within a personal grooming and hygiene space. With increased usage, its implications as part of our language are likely to evolve, but for now, the origin and concept of what it denotes remains relatively unchanged. Citation URL: https://www. grammarist. com/etymology/restroom/https://www. worldofbathrooms. co. nz/blog/why-is-it-called-a-restroom/

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