Swiss/High German expressions: on going to the loo

I prefer taking my time when going to the loo, but the Swiss just want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

I don’t get why a simple ‘excuse me, I’ll be right back’ won’t do. I’ve heard this in so many different contexts that I suppose there’s no use questioning it – it’s just the way people here say they’re going to the bathroom. I appreciate the fact that some people switch to English when I’m around, but I can’t help picturing the person in question sitting on the loo, doing their business, though, and I’d rather not.

Swiss/HighGerman WC

So how can you say it in English?

There are a number of words you can use to say you’re going to the bathroom. You can say you’re going to the toilet or that you need to use the loo in British English, or that you’ve got to use the restroom in American English. Some people say they’re going to the men’s room or the women’s room. Although I personally think it’s a bit weird, some also call it the little boys’ room or the little girls’ room.

There are many more ways of saying you’re heading to the bathroom, but if you want something a little more, er, creative, here are a few expressions you can use:

I’m going to spend a penny

I’m off to release the kraken

I need to take a dump

I’ve got to gonature calls

I’m sitting on the throne

Schnell schnell schnell!

Another thing I’ve noticed (that isn’t necessarily related to bodily functions) is the frequent use of schnell‘I go schnell ufs WC’, ‘I go schnell go dusche’ (I’m going to take a quick shower), ‘I go schnell go luege’ (I’m going to have a quick look), and so on. While schnell is often used by Swiss German speakers, the native German speakers I’ve met here seem to prefer saying kurz instead, although this doesn’t seem to be a rule.



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