Sometimes my brain (maybe because I'm not a native English speaker) tends to come up with logical extensions to common formats; in this case, more than once I caught myself thinking (not out loud, thankfully) that I was feeling "pissy". Now, the actual meaning of that word is nothing close to what I meant, but I can't help but feel like there's a gap there. Other people seem to have wondered the same but I don't think I can draw anything conclusive from that...

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    Swedish has a word for it: kissnödig/nödig, literally in need (of taking a leak).
    – Henrik N
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 14:01
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    "Pissneedy" would be a direct analog and quite easy to understand. I am adding it to my vocabulary!
    – MetaEd
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 17:17
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    FWIW, some years back I heard/saw a report of a German fellow who was whisked off the airplane he had boarded (in America) and put into jail where he stayed for several months until the error was discovered. He had said to the flight attendant, “The roof will go off!” which was taken to be a terrorist threat, but in actuality he was asking where the men’s room was, as he urgently had go. He simply translated into English the German idiomatic expression meaning “I urgently have to urinate.” Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 9:54
  • English speakers are lucky just to have hungry and thirsty! In Romance languages you "have hunger" and "have thirst", while in Japanese all you can say is your "stomach is empty" and your "throat is dry"! Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 2:52
  • @Paul, maybe just a little luckier, because those constructs aren't scalable either. Perhaps the Japanese system is the sanest one, though arguably the most complicated from the bunch...
    – waldyrious
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 17:20

4 Answers 4


A quick Google search has not revealed to me whether or not this example is only used in Australian English and whether or not it is slang (because it is certainly not formal and you wouldn't say it to your teacher or employer).

Sometimes (at least in Australia - perhaps those from other Anglophone countries can tell us whether they use it too) we say, 'I am busting to go to the toilet'. 'Busting' means that you REALLY need to urinate.

The question asks for a word like 'hungry'. Well, this word is more like 'starving'. So it does imply quite an urgent need to urinate.

If you wanted to be more polite I suppose you would just say something like, 'I need to go to the bathroom'.

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    In Britain I think we're more likely to say "I'm bursting" rather then busting, or at least I would. But otherwise I agree that this comes closest to what the questioner was asking. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 19:27
  • I think if I said 'I'm bursting' in the right context here people would understand that too :-) but you don't really hear it. In my answer I said that we say, 'I'm busting to go to the toilet'. Well I should mention that all you need to say is, 'I'm busting' and people will understand.
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 19:58
  • Yeah, busting (or bursting) does indeed come closer to "starving" than to "hungry", but I'm afraid it's the closest one can get to the adjective I was looking for. Thanks :)
    – waldyrious
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 3:08

Yes, in medical terms we call it "urinary urgency" - this implies the need to urinate and implies the frequent need for urination. However it's a medical word - you can say that the patient suffers from urinary urgency. You can't use it to say "I feel like I have urinary urgency" - doesn't sound right.

  • Urinurgency.⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 18:45

To micturate is to urinate; dictionaries say micturate derives from the Latin micturīre, "to want to urinate."

So you can combine the old Latin root, and the -y noun suffix (which means "full of," e.g. dirty means "full of dirt"), which gives you mictury. ("Dude, I am seriously mictury...")

  • "mictury" definitely doesn't look as weird as I thought it would when I started reading your answer :) but unfortunately an invented word would have no practical use for communication; for something to employ in my thoughts only, I'd rather keep "pissy", if only for consistency and convention.
    – waldyrious
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 3:13
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    Well, you did tag your question with "neologisms," so I thought you were looking for one.
    – Gnawme
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 4:10
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    If you said 'pissy' you really would sound like a non-native speaker. You would certainly get the point across and you would probably make someone smile :-) (Don't say it to the Queen though, okay!)
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 6:58
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    @Gnawme true, but a neologism can have some adoption and still be considered as such; one freshly out the oven, however, definitely poses more challenge to usage :)
    – waldyrious
    Commented Feb 12, 2012 at 4:55
  • To minge and to mighe are both also perfectly good English words from the same Latin/IE root. "I feel mighty" and "mingy" sound much better than having mercury poisoning.
    – lly
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 18:04

If you want to sound more formal and polite, use "relieve oneself". The phrase "relieve oneself" means to eliminate urine.

Ex; Excuse me please, I've to relieve myself.

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    Please re-read the question!
    – Pitarou
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 9:10
  • I would never say that in a polite context. I would say something like, 'excuse me for a moment' or 'I'm going to the bathroom'. It is very common (in Australia at least) for a man to say, 'I'm going to the gents'' and for a lady to say, 'I'm going to the ladies'. (Or something like 'I need to go to the gents'/ladies'' or 'excuse me while I go to the gents'/ladies'') It may be that in other parts of the world people say 'I've to relieve myself' but it's pretty rare in Australia. 'To relieve oneself' could even imply masturbation on a man's part if taken out of context.
    – Rachel
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 17:10
  • @Rachel: I suppose, from your comment, that women who masturbate feel no relief and that they rarely ever need to masturbate, which is why it couldn't possibly be possible to say "'To relieve oneself' could even imply masturbation if taken out of context." I'm really intrigued by that "masturbation on a man's part" phrase. Don't women have "masturbation parts"? Too bad if they don't.
    – user21497
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 13:09
  • I apologise it could also mean the same for a female. That was a silly oversight and nothing further. I take your point 100%.
    – Rachel
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 15:03

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