People of a slightly younger generation havebeen left surprised after finding out what WC actually stands for. Often seen on signs indicating the location of a public toilet, some were left surprised when they they actually find out what the famous letters mean.

Wheelchair was one idea people have come up with for the initials, but it actually stands for Water Closet

The term water closet originates from the early days of public bathrooms in the 19th Century as a way to spare the blushes of people who wanted to use them.

In the 19th Century, the word toilet was not uttered in polite society, nor were the bodily functions associated with the use of a toilet. In order to avoid that, the term ‘water closet’ was invented to describe the then-new flush lavatory, particularly in public places.

The acronym WC was seen as being far enough from its function to be uttered, albeit with some embarrassment and reticence and so came into regular use just as google is used as a term for searching.

According to the plumbing website, Plumbworld, the phrase was first used in England in the 1870s.

It was originally known as a “wash-down closet” before becoming referred to as a “water closet” through popular usage before finally evolving into the popular acronym, “WC”.

The 19th Century was a significant period of innovation for the modern toilet with advances improving public health and hygiene.

One of the most famous sanitary engineers of the time, Thomas Crapper, was hired by the Royal Family to replace the toilets at Sandringham House in 1886, but that’s a whole other story ;)

Check out our range of Toilet cubicles to find out how you can refresh your Washroom WCs…