While previously this term was considered rather crude when used to refer to the bathroom (being literally “toilet”), its usage is increasingly accepted, particularly in the younger generation – 「トイレはどこですか。」 (“Where is the toilet?”) is generally acceptable. In polite conversation, however, お手洗い (otearai, “washroom”) is preferred.
The honorific おトイレ (o-toire) is less often used, but is found, particularly in polite writing referring to toilets, rather than the room – if wishing to be polite when referring to the room, one would more often use お手洗い.
- 便所 (benjo), お便所 (obenjo)
- 手洗い (tearai), お手洗い (otearai): washroom
- 化粧室 (keshōshitsu): lavatory, make-up room, powder room – used in public spaces, like shops or on an airplane, more as the written sign than in speech
- おトイレ (o-toire)
- トイレット (toiretto)
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
- 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
- ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
- ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN