We say hungry if someone wants to eat, thirsty if someone wants to drink and sleepy if someone wants to sleep.

What's the adjective used to describe the person who has a desire to go urgently to the toilet other than I want to take a ...

Do we have such a word in the casual day-to-day speech? I am looking for an informal word that used with friends boys and girls.


  • What language has a single word for this? – tchrist Jun 18 at 13:31
  • 3
    'Bursting' was once used in very colloquial and near-childlike speech in the UK. "I'm bursting [for a pee]." I'd avoid it nowadays. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 at 13:33
  • I have to go. (Alternatively, and perhaps less genteel, "My eyeballs are floating.") – RobJarvis Jun 18 at 13:46
  • Well, I guess it's Depends. – Hot Licks Jun 18 at 13:52
  • What @RobJarvis said. But note that when it's a male speaking, I have to go (often with heavy stress on the highlighted word) is quite likely to elicit the response Number one or number two? (a "tinkle" or a "poo"). But I'm bursting would invariably be interpreted as "number one" there. For the second possibility, from the movie Rat Race, there's Kimberly's response after being offered a jam-jar to pee in when she's "taken short" during a long car drive: Dad, I don't have to pee! It's number two! I'm prairie-dogging it! Ew! – FumbleFingers Jun 18 at 14:02

"Bursting" is used colloquially and widely in the part of the UK I come from. I strongly disagree with Edwin's assertion that it is "near-childlike".

"To be desperate for"is also widely used. https://www.reddit.com/r/britishproblems/comments/aacdwa/being_desperate_for_the_toilet_after_sitting_for/ https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/lifestyle/cars/drivers-risking-huge-fines-and-points-going-toilet-motorway-1422240#gsc.tab=0

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  • Is it ok to say I'm so stuck? Where is the toilet? I heard it in an American movie. – user385505 Jun 18 at 17:43
  • @acme - In British English it would mean nothing. In American English, according to Urban Dictionary, "I'm stuck" means "I'm tired" or under the influence of drugs. (Presumably because of being stuck with a needle when injecting drugs). urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Stuck – chasly - supports Monica Jun 18 at 19:04
  • "13 May 2016 - Eight of the 25 children (a third) used 'bursting' to describe how they felt regarding going to the toilet. 'Bursting' is a term generally used by children in Ireland when feeling urgency or on the verge of involuntary incontinence as opposed to “need to go” which is typically used for bladder fullness." by M Tatlow-Golden - ‎2017 ' [SAGE Journals] – Edwin Ashworth Jun 21 at 14:36

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