General English


  • noun a public lavatory, in the language of the homosexuals who made contact there. The word and the practice were more common in the 1950s and 1960s before the liberalisation of anti-homosexual laws, but are still in evidence. The term is also used in Australia.

Origin & History of “cottage”

The Old English words for a small house or hut were cot and cote, both of which survive – just: cot as an archaic term for ‘cottage’ and cote in dovecote and sheepcote. (Cot ‘child’s bed’ (17th c.), incidentally, is of Hindi origin.) they both derive ultimately from a Germanic base *kut-. then, probably in the 12th century, one or both of them seem to have been taken up by the language of the gentry, Anglo-Norman, and had the suffix -age added, giving *cotage, which was eventually adopted by English as cottage. Originally this simply denoted any small humble country dwelling; it was not until the mid-18th century that it began to acquire modern connotations of tweeness.