The other day, I was watching a Japanese reality show, Terrace House (TERRACE HOUSE – OPENING NEW DOORS). While several members were chatting in the dining room, a guy just stood up and left the room saying “厠へ行ってきます(kawaya he ittekimasu)”. But looked like twenty-something other Japanese girls didn’t get what he meant.
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“厠(kawaya)” is another name for a restroom in Japanese, and it’s one of the oldest expressions meaning a restroom. Thus, the guy above was just saying “I’m going to the restroom”, without being too direct.
If you are a grown woman, other alternative to “トイレ(toire)” is “化粧室(keshoshitsu)” or “お化粧室(okeshoshitsu)“, which literally means a powder room. This word sounds more classy and feminine than any other words above.
There are also a lot of expressions meaning “going to the restroom”, however, most of them are a little difficult to guess the meaning unless you already know the hidden meaning. Below are some of those interesting Japanese expressions.
化粧を直しに行く(keshou wo naoshini iku)
This one is probably the easiest to guess. “化粧(keshou)” means a make-up, and “化粧を直しに行く(keshou wo naoshini iku)” literally means “I’m going to go freshen up”, which a lot of girls actually do in the restroom. This phrase is very common for women and you can use it at any occasion without sounding too fancy.
キジを撃ちに行く(kiji wo uchini iku)
So for girls, we can use the phrase “お花を摘みに行きます(ohana wo tsumini ikimasu)” to politely imply that you need to go to the restroom. Then, what about guys? Some men might say “キジを撃ちに行く(kiji wo uchini iku)” implying “I’m going to the restroom”. “キジ(kiji)” is a pheasant in English, and “キジを撃ちに行く(kiji wo uchini iku)” literally means “I’m going to hunt a pheasant”. We say that this phrase started to be used for saying “I’m going to the restroom” because when you sit in the Japanese-style restroom(和式トイレ/washiki toire), it looks like a posture to hunt pheasants.
レコーディングに行く(rekōdhingu ni iku)
This phrase is getting popular among young people. “レコーディング(rekōdhing)” is recording in English, and “レコーディングに行く(rekōdhing ni iku)” literally means “I’m going to go recording”. People started using this phrase because the other word for recording in Japanese is “音入れ(otoire)“, which has the same pronunciation as the restroom in Japanese “おトイレ(otoire)“.
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In Japanese restaurants, waitresses, waiters and chefs hesitate to use the word “トイレ(toire)” not to make their customers uncomfortable while they are eating. So they often substitute the word into a number. “三番入ります(sanban hairimasu)” literally means “I’m going to go for number 3”. The number varies depending on the company, but this kind of expression “〇番入ります(X-ban hairimasu)” is widely used in a lot of businesses.
Have you ever heard any other phrases meaning “I’m going to the restroom” in Japanese? Is there any interesting expressions implying the restroom in your country? Tell us your stories in the comment section below!