Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1996 06:06:48 -0600

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: Lavatory = ?

Ignore this if it has come up before, but one of my colleagues, from N.

Alabama, notes that the bathroom fixture he washed his hands in was a

lavatory , but his wife (from NYC), for whom this is a wash basin ,

While we're waiting for the word from DARE, I'll speak up to say that I'm

with your colleague from N. Alabama: the bathroom fixture you wash your

hands in is the lavatory.

has (hissy?) fits when he calls it a lavatory. I think I originally learned

Interesting. Does he have a hissy when she calls it a "wash basin"? I

don't know that I'd have a hissy, but I think I'd smile at what strikes

my ears as a quaint expression.

Something I've wondered about before is why calling the lavatory "the

bathroom sink" is ok (although "lavatory" is much more common) while you

would never call the kitchen sink a "lavatory." Kitchens have sinks;

bathrooms have lavatories. Lavatories can be called sinks; sinks can't

be called lavatories.

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

middle-aged Mississippian