Cousin John

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From John (outhouse; lavatory; chamber pot; toilet). Possibly derived from a "euphemistic phrase of excuse" (e.g., "visiting my cousin John" or "going to cousin John's house"), similar to modern use of "powdering one's nose", but this is unattested.[1]

Noun[edit]

Cousin John (uncountable)

  1. (US, slang, obsolete) A place or device for urination and defecation: an outhouse or chamber pot.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quinion, Michael. "John". World Wide Words. 14 November 1998.