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Old 12-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #11
knobby109
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Originally Posted by windymiller View Post
This is what I've always understood the phrase to mean.
Yes, you see toilet water and toiletries on sale , they are all to do with cleaning yourself up.
The idea of "toilets" meaning what they do now is probably the result of Victorian sensitivity , it wasn't the thing to say "I'm going for a piss" so the euphenism "I'm visiting the toilet" came into use.

As for phrases like "wednesday week" , they are well understood but used rather less frequently than "a week on Wednesday"
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by haroldeye View Post

Public schools are so called because when they started they was Private education (tutors for the rich) Church schools for the middle classes (the church was all powerful in late medieval England) and no schooling for anyone else. Schools were founded and funded by the public purse to educate the poor. Over the years these schools became private, fee paying schools but never lost the name Public. What Americans would call public we call 'State schools'.
I have to disagree with you on one point, haroldeye. The term 'public' was first adopted by Eton College and referred to the fact that it was open to all members of the (fee paying) public - as opposed to Church Schools (which were reserved for those of a certain faith or denomination) and private education (which was carried-out at home, usually by a tutor). Public schools were never founded on the principle of giving the poor a means to free education.

Regards.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by knobby109 View Post
" ..... it wasn't the thing to say "I'm going for a piss" so the euphenism "I'm visiting the toilet" came into use".
Although the term "Going for a piss" would have outraged polite Victorian society, they did often remark: "I'm going for a Jimmy", sometimes adding: "I might as well try for a pony as well whilst I'm there". I think it was Oscar Wilde who claimed it was to avoid social awkwardness and embarrassment that Cockney rhyming slang first came into usage amongst the upper classes.

Regards.
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Last edited by spitalhouse; 12-19-2009 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RyderKnightley View Post
It was The Undertones who had the song Wednesday Week and in that instance they where refering to the Wednesday of the previous week.

"Wednesday week she loved me,
Wednesday week never happened at all"
Wednesday Week
Written by Elvis Costello
Performed by Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced by Nick Lowe
Musicians Elvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
Recorded August-September 1978, Eden Studios, London
Released December 18, 1978

The movies save on conversation
And the TV saves on sight
We met in a head-on collision
So I would say our chances would be slight
You can lead and I will follow
See us dancing cheek to cheek
You'll remember me tomorrow
But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week

Say you love me until you do so
Joso singing just like Caruso
Three little words roll off your tongue
Somehow your face just doesn't look so young
You say you want to strike a bargain
Now there is no need to speak
You say you want to learn the jargon
But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week
You start acting like a zombie
Someone wants your piece of cake
You think you want to jump up on me
But you won't give a damn by Wednesday Week

Oh what a letdown when the battle was finally won
One little breakdown and then it was over and done
I wish I had your confidence
It's love and not coincidence
Do you say these words to everyone?
You're fantastic, you're terrific
Your excellence is almost scientific
You took the words out of my mouth
You put the tongue into my cheek
But I'd better lose my memory by Wednesday Week
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by spitalhouse View Post
I have to disagree with you on one point, haroldeye. The term 'public' was first adopted by Eton College and referred to the fact that it was open to all members of the (fee paying) public - as opposed to Church Schools (which were reserved for those of a certain faith or denomination) and private education (which was carried-out at home, usually by a tutor). Public schools were never founded on the principle of giving the poor a means to free education.

Regards.

Checked with wiki and Eton was founded by Henry VI in 1440 specifically for the education of 70 Poor Boys. The fee payers sort of joined later.

Before the reformation all church schools were Roman Catholic (and educated people for the church). After the Reformation most of the church schools became protestant or anglo catholic Grammar schools and became far more secular. From about 1530 to roughly 1800 Roman Catholicism was not exactly the flavour of the month.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by spitalhouse View Post
Although the term "Going for a piss" would have outraged polite Victorian society, they did often remark: "I'm going for a Jimmy", sometimes adding: "I might as well try for pony as well whilst I'm there". I think it was Oscar Wilde who claimed that it was to avoid social awkwardness and embarrassment that Cockney rhyming slang first came into usage amongst the upper classes.

Regards.
'Going for a Jimmy' - still used today, at least by me! Short for 'Going for a Jimmy Riddle' - rhyming slang for piddle. I've no idea if Jimmy Riddle ever existed or who he was if he did!
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
My public school and bank holiday questions were asked semi-jokingly, but I've wondered about "made my toilet" ever since getting into the Flashman novels about 15 years ago. My guesstimate as to it's meaning was fairly close to your explanation, so hooray for me.



I've seen and read the phrase "Wednesday week" several times. Elvis Costello wrote a song called "Wednesday Week". I recently discovered there was a girl rock band in the '80s called Wednesday Week (predictably, they were American).

The thing is (Do you say that in the UK?) I've NEVER heard the term used with any other day of the week except Wednesday. Maybe I've led a sheltered life.
We most certainly use the term 'Monday Week' round my house. In fact in the family I've heard it expanded to 'Tuesday fortnight'!
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:45 PM   #18
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And there's a thing. I'd heard tell that Americans (U.S.A), neither used nor understood the term 'fortnight', and yet I've recently read Uncle Tom's Cabin (Part of a package of Wordsworth Classics from Amazon), and the word 'fortnight is used and understood several times. Another (Urban) myth dispelled?
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by haroldeye View Post
Checked with wiki and Eton was founded by Henry VI in 1440 specifically for the education of 70 Poor Boys. The fee payers sort of joined later.

Before the reformation all church schools were Roman Catholic (and educated people for the church). After the Reformation most of the church schools became protestant or anglo catholic Grammar schools and became far more secular. From about 1530 to roughly 1800 Roman Catholicism was not exactly the flavour of the month.
Eton College's origins as a charitable seat if learning are not in dispute; I merely pointed to the fact that Eton was the first school to describe itself as a 'public' school - which is a fact that stands irrespective of the principals upon which it was originally founded.

What is in dispute, however, is why the term 'public' is ascribed to the type of fee-paying schools that the rest of the world would regard as 'private' - which I think was the basis of the original query. In this context the term 'public' can not be inferred to mean free as in 'free of charge' (as you seemed to advocate), but merely free insofar as entry was not restricted (theoretically) on the grounds of class or religion.

Regards.
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Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity. (Einstein)
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #20
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This is, I assume, British slang, and I've never quite figured out the meaning: "Bob's your uncle."
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