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Toilet in German – German Vocabulary 101


It might not be a favorite topic for public discussion, but let’s face it: We all need toilets and it’s better to know how to ask for the right direction than having to search for it when matters are urgent. So today we are going to learn the expressions used for toilet in German and how to ask for it politely.

The German word for toilet is "die Toilette." (feminine, plural: die Toiletten)

Synonyms for Toilette

As in most languages, there are a handful of other expressions for toilet. Some of them are more “distinguished”, some are formal and some are vulgar.

The most important ones are:

  • das Klosett
    Yes, the one from “water closet”, only with a K.
  • das Klo
    short form of the above
  • das Scheisshaus
    Originally means the little hut in the garden where people defecated before toilets were installed in-doors. Nowadays still used as a vulgar synonym for toilet.
  • das WC
  • das stille Örtchen
    literally “the silent place”
  • der Abort
  • die Latrine
where's the toilet in german: wo ist die toilette?
Image by bzndenis from Pixabay

Expressions used for Toilet in German

Generally, the three words “WC”, “Klo”, and “Toilette” are interchangeable, although “Klo” is a bit less “sophisticated”. So you can use all kinds of combinations, like “Gäste-WC”, “Gäste-Klo”, or “Gästetoilette”. We give you the ones most frequently used.

English ExpressionsGerman TranslationsGender
guest toiletdas Gäste-WCneuter
ladies’ roomdie Damentoilettefeminine
men’s roomdie Herrentoilettefeminine
public lavatory (British English)die öffentliche Toilettefeminine
public restroomdie öffentliche Toilettefeminine
public toiletdie öffentliche Toilettefeminine
restroom breakdie Toilettenpausefeminine
shelf toiletder Flachspülermasculine
toilet facilitydie Bedürfnisanstaltfeminine
washroomder Waschraummasculine

Items for the Toilet in German

English ExpressionsGerman TranslationsGender
toilet bowldas WC-Beckenneuter
toilet brushdie WC-Bürstefeminine
toilet cleanerder WC-Reinigermasculine
toilet lidder Toilettendeckel / der Klodeckelmasculine
toilet paperdas Toilettenpapier / das Klopapierneuter
toilet seatder Toilettensitz / die Klobrillemasculine / feminine

How to ask for the Toilet in German

toilet sign in german
Toilet sign in German — Image by Hans Rohmann from Pixabay
  • Entschuldigung, wo ist die Toilette? — Excuse me, where is the toilet?
  • Wo ist das Badezimmer? — Where is the bathroom?
    You would only use this in someone’s house