DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it proper etiquette always to use a euphemism for the word “toilet,” as in, “Excuse me, where is the bathroom (or restroom, etc.)?” Has the word “toilet” become vulgar?
GENTLE READER: In regards to bodily functions, the less graphic the language, the more polite it is. But toilet, which refers to the room as well as the plumbing, does not generally fall under any ban. Miss Manners has no objection to alternative words if they make you, or the person you are questioning, more comfortable. But be aware that in some English-speaking countries and in some foreign languages, “toilet” is actually preferred.