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The most important phrase you should learn is "Where can I find a toilet?". If you need to visit the toilet, nearly any word will do. All of the following words will work: men's room (women's room), restroom, lavatory, toilet, bathroom, little boy's room, potty, head, john, and water closet. The last four are less common, but will probably be understood. The words "loo", "earth closet", and "usual offices" will generally not be understood by Americans. The word "outhouse" is understood to mean a toilet located outdoors, such as a portapotty, not the English meaning (farm building). If you ask for the cloakroom, you will be directed to the place where you hang or check coats, not the restroom.

There are no public toilets on the streets in the US. Public toilets can be found in hotels, bars, restaurants, museums, department stores, gas stations, airports, train stations, and bus stations. Some businesses may reserve their restrooms for the use of their patrons.

In many airports, toilets and urinals do not have a flush handle, but instead flush automatically when an infrared sensor determines that you have left. If you don't see anything that looks like a flush handle, step away from the toilet and see if it flushes after a few seconds.


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