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I am writing a novel set in 1890s Georgia (United States), and I am wondering whether the main character, a young man of eighteen, would refer to eau de toilette as cologne, toilet water, or something else entirely. Any ideas?

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I think it depends greatly on the social class of the young man. And is it for his use or a girl's? – Jim Mar 26 '13 at 14:59
James is a young man from a wealthy Macon family. And the cologne actually belongs to his college roommate, John. – MissHarper778 Mar 26 '13 at 16:19

Cologne would work it seems (but it is also the city. Perhaps cologne-water, would be better)

eau de toilette, eau de cologne, cologne, toilet water between 1800 and 1890 from the corpus of American English


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Cologne is the city, not cologne. Ngrams is case sensitive, so you're in no danger there. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 26 '13 at 14:22
Well, if I click on some of the links I saw the city – mplungjan Mar 26 '13 at 14:23
Interesting. I wonder if ngrams uses a different search to the books search it links to. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 26 '13 at 14:29
Thanks so much!! – MissHarper778 Mar 26 '13 at 16:22

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