A commode you probably don't crap in.

What a strange change in word usage. This article discusses a 80k commode stolen from the Rockefeller family. One glance at the photo and its obviously not for taking a crap.

Some googling reveals commode was originally a beautiful French chest of drawers.

How in the heck did it get twisted into being a place to sit on and shit?

I recall on antiques roadshow there was a fancy cabinet that held the chamber pot. Had some big french name. I got grossed out because the appraiser said it was kept in the dining room. :eek: People literally got up from the table, walked a few feet and took a dump in that chamber pot. Then went back to the table. This was in the large Manor homes and Palaces.

Anyone recall what those cabinets were called?

Here’s a link from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Basically, the word has a root meaning going all the way back to Latin that is “convenient” or “proper” and has had this meaning applied to various things over the years. These include the chests of drawers, a ladies hairstyle, and the enclosure for a toilet.

[Johnny Carson]“Name three commodes!”[/Johnny Carson]

Commode means comfort. There are times when a toilet is a very comfy place to sit. All of the other stuff included will just make it more comfortable.

Eating out?

Thanks for the replies. Several mentioned commode as the private enclosure. But it’s also the porcelain throne too? Isn’t it? Flatlined makes a good point that “comfort” is the common meaning throughout the words use.

Interesting how this word has changed over the years.

Just for fun: Bathroom Commodes

Given the rotating history of euphemisms for the place that you go to get rid of your waste, this kind of meaning transfer isn’t really surprising. Since people first started squatting behind a bush to do their business, “polite” words for the place where it happened have been used, which eventually become “vulgar” through association, requiring NEW polite words, which then become vulgar by association, requiring NEW etc, etc, etc.

I still think my favorite euphemism is one for a chamber pot…the “gazunda”. Because it gazunda the bed.

I recall there was similar confusion a few years ago when it was revealed that John Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, had spent $35,000 on a commode for his office.