People refer to toilets by using various name: restroom, bathroom, wc, crapper, loo, head etc. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it as i’ve always assumed that the word ‘crapper’ comes from the word ‘crap’. It makes sense, right?
Well, surprisingly, this is not the case. It all has to do with the company that was dominating the English toilet market at the early 1900s.
Here’s the interesting story. (the article continues after the ad)
To find the origins of the name, we’ll have to go back to the early 20th century, when US soldiers were stationed in England during World War I. At the time, the toilets in England were mostly made by a company called “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd” with the company’s label appearing on every toilet:
Because of that, soldiers started calling the toilets “crappers”, a slang term that stuck and eventually made its way into the United States when the soldiers returned home.
In case you’ve been wondering, the word “crap” does not come from “crapper”, even though the exact origins of the word are not entirely known. What we do know, is that the word was widely used in England to refer to rubbish but it fell out of use during the 16th century, long before “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd” came along.
Before dying out in England though, the word “crap” made its way into the US and it was still in use during the early 20th century. Perhaps this is the reason why “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd” looked as a joke to the Americans soldiers and universally went on to call toilets “the crapper” while the English didn’t get it as they’ve stopped using the term a long time ago.