One feels the need to go to toilet. He/she has to say it to them politely. What would be the polite and impolite expressions?

To seniors, to juniors, to friends. (Please give some examples that can be used as polite and impolite expressions)

As for the native speakers, this one is not a matter of importance or discussion, but it is really essential for non-native speakers. We can move away with any excuse, yet I want to learn the words from native speakers.

  • Well there's always "I've got to see about an urgent haircut". Somewhat more polite and understood would be perhaps "I need to deal with a personal matter of some urgency," or something like that. – Hot Licks Oct 15 '15 at 3:13
  • (I am thinking this question was asked about 9 months ago, but I'm not finding it.) – Hot Licks Oct 15 '15 at 3:13
  • Why not be direct and just say "I need a quick break to relieve myself"? This works at all levels. If it has to be presented formally, say to a senior, just add "Could you excuse me?" before this... – Mamta D Oct 15 '15 at 4:33
  • @MamtaD It might get embarrassing for the speaker if he was sitting in a round table conference. I haven't been in a situation like that. Just speculating. – Jony Agarwal Oct 15 '15 at 5:22
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    Do you think "pls" somehow means "please"? Because it actually means "bugger off, I have no time for six friggin letters". It's really quite insulting indeed. If that's really the level to which we are supposed to care about politeness, then there's certainly nothing wrong with expressing the call of nature as "get outta my way, I need to take a huge dump". – RegDwigнt Oct 15 '15 at 9:20

I have long favored Cervantes’ elegant circumlocution:

Just then, whether it was the cold of the morning that was now approaching, or that he had eaten something laxative at supper, or that it was only natural (as is most likely), Sancho felt a desire to do what no one could do for him.

Don Quixote Part I Ch. XX.


If you're talking about urinating:

To a senior you might say that you have to "let the water out" or to "make water".

To a junior or child you might say that you have to "tinkle" or "pee".

To a friend you might say that you have to "piss," "wizz," or "take a leak".


I like to excuse myself by saying that I need to see a man about a horse. This works great around people who don't speak English natively.

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