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Why is the term john used for toilet?

Answer

Wiki User
09/13/2010

"The John" for Sir John Harrington

The flushing toilet was invented in 1596, not by Thomas Crapper as most people think, but by Sir John Harington. Harington, a British nobleman and godson of Queen Elizabeth I, invented a valve that when pulled would release water from a water closet. Sir John recommended flushing the toilet once or twice a day, although with our modern technology, we know that is probably not sufficient. (Rumor has it that, in Robin Hood's day, King Richard the Lionheart - angry with how his brother, Prince John, ruled the country while the King was gone, named fair toilette, 'the john' - AKA as 'the Jon' to you folks.)

Answer Inventor of first flush toilet.

Sir John Harrington invented the first flush toilet in the late 1500's. I have even heard that he installed it for Queen Elizabeth 1st, and she affectionately referred to it as her "John", but have no idea if that is true. I believe he actually installed the first toilet in his own mansion.