powder room

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Euphemism (the category is known as indirection) – identifying the lavatory as a place to powder one's nose ‎(apply make-up), rather than to use the toilet. Origin 1905–10; first attested 1941.

May also have come from the French boudoir (direct translation: pouting room or pouter room). Though boudoir is also used in English, both it and powder room share the same definition. Usage in french as early as mid-18th century, usage in English most popular during the Victorian era, and has mostly fallen out of usage in the early 20th century, coincidentally with the origin of the English term powder room.


powder room ‎(plural powder rooms)

  1. (US, euphemistic) A women's toilet, especially in a public venue such as a restaurant, boutique, or hotel lobby.


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