Talking In The Bathroom

So, to generalize, I live in Toronto Canada, where men don’t talk in the bathroom, and women do. Yes, yes, there are exceptions, but the gender split on this issue is fairly distinct.

My question is, is this true all over the world? I’ve noticed recently that some men from other cultures (at least, I assume they are from other cultures, as they are speaking other languages or with heavy accents) seem to have no compunctions about hanging around the restroom in a public place and conversing.

So what’s it like where you are? Toilet talk or no toilet talk?


Some talk but not what you call chit-chat. w/ possible exceptions to bars and similar establishments. (as you said, there are exceptions) Drunks will talk anywhere. :smiley:

Definitely no hanging around/ friendly visiting inside the restroom. Get your business done and get the hell out, someone else may be waiting. Men’s facilities here are usually small and accommodate very few (often only one or two at a time, a wall urinal and stall w/ toilet). Usually NO waiting room, damn sure not standing behind someone and watching.

Well, not being a man, I can’t give you anything on how it goes in the men’s room, but I will definitely say that in my part of the world, there is definite talk in the ladies’ room.

When I’m out in a social setting, bar or restaurant or somesuch and with friends, we’ll definitely talk while we’re in there. I personally don’t really talk to women I don’t know in the restroom but I do see lots of other women having a brief chat or whatever.

I will also say that I HATE talking in the restroom at work. This is a major peeve of mine. I don’t know what it is, but I cannot stand it. I try to pretend I’m not even in there and there are some women who try to carry on a conversation with you from one stall to another! That is such a no-no with me.

We also have a man here who will follow you right up to the door of the ladies room if you’re talking to him, and then wait outside until you’re done and keep talking as soon as you come out. Really creepy. I have to walk by his desk to get to the restroom and he ALWAYS asks, “Where you going?” I have finally learned to tell him it’s NONE OF HIS BUSINESS! : shudder :

I don’t mind talking when I’m in the rest room, but I hate it when people talk to you through the door when you’re on the toilet. That’s just nasty.

Men in my company talk in the bathroom a lot.
The weekly ritual is that when the Big Meeting breaks up everyone goes to the head. Half the crowd is busy with bodily functions and washing, while the other half is in the waiting half of the room discussing the meeting and/or lunch plans before they all leave the room and disperse.

I only talk in my own bathroom when I take a shower …

So, what are some reasons for choosing the bathroom as a place to visit? I guess I can understand it at a nightclub, where the bathroom is the only place the music isn’t deafeningly loud. But how about the office? Or at a restaurant, or the movie theatre? I mean, if you’re at a restaurant, surely you could just visit at the table?

(side question: what’s the universal term for the room in question? In this thread, we’ve got restroom [and rest room], bathroom, men’s room and ladies’ room. What’s your preferred term?)


I don’t talk while I am in the bathroom if I am at the urinal or in a stall, only at the sink. It doesn’t matter whether it’s at work or in any other public place. I DO NOT TALK during this time!

That said, today while at the urinal another worker came in and loudly said, “Hi, dwc, how you doing?!” I hesitated for a moment to think about his social trangression, wishing I could tactfully help him to improve his etiquette. I didn’t want him to think I was deaf or ignoring him, so I just said “I’m fine.” Still, I was irritated as hell that he did this.

If I am in a restaurant the table is perfectly fitting for conversation, no need to do it in the restoom. At the movie theater, the lobby or the theater itself before the show starts works for me. For most other public places, anywhere but the restroom is suitable.

In public I always call it a restroom. I don’t take a bath in there, so it’s doesn’t seem fitting to call it a bathroom. On the other hand, I don’t go in there to rest, either, but restroom just seems more appropriate than bathroom. “Men’s room” seems superfluous since, well, I shouldn’t have to specify to other people which room I use.

First off, I hate it when a stranger talks to me in the restroom (for that matter, I don’t particularly like it when a stranger talks to me at all, unless it’s something trivial/impersonal like “do you have the time?” or “how do I get to Broadway from here?”). Maybe I’m violating some unwritten rule, but is it really necessary to greet everyone you pass in the restroom?

Now, if I do know the other person, I don’t mind some brief comments while we’re in line for a stall, or washing our hands, etc. But no chatting while in the stalls! I need to block from my mind the fact that other people are present in order to relax enough to “do my business”; chitchat makes that impossible!

(Oh, and Padma is a female, btw.)

Here in Pennsylvania there is no clear-cut answer to your question. While, on the one hand I find it very odd for people to chat with me while I’m in the men’s room, on the other hand it happens often enough that it is clear that many men do not agree.

Sorry to hijack the thread here. I call it the washroom, and I hear that quite a bit in Canada. But when I went to Washington, D.C. for a brief trip, it was different. I asked a woman where the washroom was and she went “huh?”. I managed to explain, and she goes “Oh, the BATHROOM!”. I didn’t expect to get tripped up like that in the States! So hopefully we can find a more universal term.

Where I work, there is one man that always insists on talking in the bathroom. We make fun of him on a daily basis.

I had a teacher in high school that loved embarrasing his female students. When they asked if they could use the restroom, his reply was “There’s no bed in there.” Next came, “There’s no bath in there.” You had to ask for permission to go to the toilet room.

I had a philosophy teacher in college that would yell stuff at people leaving the room to go the bathroom. Stuff like “I know where you’re going!” and “Mention my name, you’ll get a good seat!”

Sorry for the slight hijack.

I like the Philippines’ “comfort room.” Usually not much talk, unless a person known to you. Never know if it’s a George Michael type, is the reason, IMO.

Down here, men at pubs/clubs seem quite happy to chat away at the urinal. It’s not common to loiter in the room once you’re done, but brief chatting while peeing or waiting for a urinal berth is acceptable enough.

Men also talk to each other while using the urinals here at the office.

Talking across the cubicles, however, is a no-no.

Oh, and in Australia the place is called “the toilet/s”. None of those ridiculous euphemisms like “restroom”, “washroom” or “bathroom”.

Acceptable alternatives include “the boggers”, “the loo” or “I’m going to take a piss.” :slight_smile:

I think that is out of order, you should have reported him, and filed a complaint against him.

Anyways, how does he know what is in the ladies room?

I have been to some very nice ladies rooms which have beautiful couches, and some which were more or less “beds”. In the old days, we had a lot more ladies rooms which had a nice long couch were you could lie down if you werent feeling well, very common. My church has a beautiful red sofa to lie down on.