Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 23:34:03 -0700


Subject: Re: Lavatory = ?

My understanding of lavatory is first a euphemism for bathroom, but

usually in a public place. The NYC image I have of lavatory is a small

room with a porcelain sink possibly removed by another architecturally

separated area from the toilet and/or tub. This is not a new sink. It

is an old one with spoke-handled faucets topped with a chrome "H" or

"C", or if older, a porcelain "hot" or "cold". Whether this is a NYC

term or just an older, NE, urban (relatively speaking) term is beyond me.

Older apartments had separated sinks, the kind with three overflow drain

holes at the rear of the basin beneath the faucets. Such a sink could

be found in isolation in an apartment or house as a wash-up location.

Large basins where workers could wash up after a shift were provided

in factories where there were no showers available. I don't know what

these were actually called.

A wash basin to me is a deep, rectangular sink intended for washing clothes

or perhaps pots.

When my resident NYC informant is available, I'll ask her about this.

By the way, I had no idea re hissy fit before she quoted someone from

greater NYC, but she never uses it. Is this another chronologically

differentiated item?

Bill King U. of Arizona SLAT Program