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See also: łóóʼ and 100


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Etymology 1[edit]

Uncertain; possible origins include:

  • French lieux, short for lieux d'aisances ‘toilets’, literally ‘places of convenience’.[1]
  • A particular brand of early toilet cisterns, trademarked 'Waterloo'.

A common folk etymology is that the word comes from the exclamation gardyloo, from French garde à l'eau (‘mind the water!’), used when emptying dirty water or slops out of a window onto the public pavement or street.


loo ‎(plural loos)

  1. (colloquial, Australia, New Zealand, Britain) A toilet.
    • 2006, Garth Thompson, Dov Fedler, The Guide′s Guide to Guiding, 3rd Edition, Jacana Media, South Africa, page 160,
      Ensure that the tents are well-sited and clean, rubbish bins empty and that the loos have toilet paper.
    • 2009, Katharina Kane, The Gambia and Senegal, Lonely Planet, page 275,
      The lack of running water in rural areas often makes Western-style loos hygienic disasters. Suddenly the noncontact squat toilet doesn′t look like such a bad option any more (as long as you roll up your trouser legs).
    • 2010, Meegan Jones, Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide, Earthscan, page 206,
      Waterless urinals are a great way of keeping the guys out of the cubicle toilets, keeping the urine separated from the solid waste (when using composting loos) and reducing water consumption if you have flush loos.
  1. ^ Webster's New World College Dictionary. 3rd Edition. New York, Simon & Schuster Macmillan. (1988)

Etymology 2[edit]

Shortened form of lanterloo.


loo ‎(uncountable)

  1. The card game lanterloo.


loo ‎(third-person singular simple present loos, present participle looing, simple past and past participle looed)

  1. (transitive) To beat in the game of loo by winning every trick.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Goldsmith to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

From Hindi उल्का ‎(ulkā), from Sanskrit उल्का ‎(ulkā).


loo ‎(uncountable)

  1. A hot, dusty wind in Bihar and the Punjab.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Man Who Would be King’, The Phantom ’Rickshaw and Other Tales, Folio Society 2005, p. 135:
      It was a pitchy black night, as stifling as a June night can be, and the loo, the red-hot wind from the westward, was booming among the tinder-dry trees and pretending that the rain was on its heels.




  1. First-person singular (yo) present indicative form of loar.