What Does WC Mean on Toilets? Not Everybody Know These Facts!

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

Saveourwaterrebates is reader-supported. When you buy via our links, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more

what does wc mean on toilets

There are generic terms for rooms or places that you enter. For instance, a person who wants to take a bath goes to the bathroom because it’s where the tub is. If you want to get ready or take a rest, your destination is a restroom where you can find a mirror, sink, and other necessities. When you need to go to the toilet, it means you need to head to the WC.

What does WC mean on toilets? It means ‘water closet’ since flushing the toilet requires water. Apart from the WC toilet meaning, you may want to learn the reason why these words exist and share similar implications. You’ll surely find answers in this article.

Conversion of ‘WC’ in English

What does WC stand for? It stands for water closet, ‘office – private room’, or ‘water, water closet. In terms of definition, it’s referred to as an enclosed room with running water.

The WC meaning is also equivalent to powder closet because the waste deposited in a toilet goes through treatment that uses powder, ash, or peat. Since feces turn into powder, this name was created. In private homes, this is called a ‘play-closet’ due to the presence of forced ventilation and a cesspool.

  • WC in Countries with Non-English Primary Language

There are different terms for toilets in Russia such as toilet, latrine, and public space. Although Russians use ‘toilet’, this word is not from their language as it’s originally from French. It’s derived from the French word ‘sortir’ which means ‘quit’. Russians started to use this word when the French were in their country and said ‘Je dois sortir’ or ‘I need to go out’ in English.

In Germany, people call the WC toilet ‘vay-say’. So, it has a similar sound to its English counterpart ‘WC’. WC is also used in Spain, The Netherlands, and France. Thus, English speakers can easily follow.

Read more: Water closet vs lavatory: comparisons.

Why is WC ‘Water Closet’ Used Instead of ‘Toilet’


Europeans prefer to use the term ‘water closet’ because the toilet is an offensive word for them. Besides this reason, there are more in the following list.

  • In the past, the size of the first-ever bathroom with a plumbing system was the same as the closet. So, toilet and water closets are the same things in Europe and America.
  • A few hundred years ago, it was viewed as offensive to call a place that accepts and disposes the waste a ‘toilet’. Using ‘water closet’ has become a tradition that is practiced up to these days.
  • The first toilets are laid down in a closet. Therefore, WC was born.
  • A water closet signifies a closed room that is connected to a natural water source for washing down waste. Even though advancement brought changes, people continue to call it a water closet.
  • Unlike the present facility, there’s only one room that is linked with running water in the past. That’s why it’s not easy to wipe out the habit of calling a toilet ‘water closet’.

More About WC


Apart from what WC toilet means, there are some related things that you have to identify based on their features. It can’t be helped as there are influences of modern innovations.

  • WC suite

A WC suite is a single toilet filled with a pan, cistern, and flushing system. The word ‘suite’ doesn’t make it similar to a bathroom suite, which has a basin, toilet, shower, or bath. A WC suite operates with an integral pipe connection, inlet or outlet device, or pressure flushing valve.

  • WC pan

With the definitions previously mentioned, it’s clear that both WC and WC suites are toilets. So, it won’t be difficult for you to figure out that the WC pan is simply a toilet pan. It’s a toilet component that holds water. You should know that it’s not connected to the cistern, a part of the flushing mechanism.

The parts of the WC pan and the cistern in a close-coupled toilet are in one unit. However, only the pan is visible and the cistern is concealed when you have the wall-hung toilet and back-to-wall toilet.

Are Urinals Water Closet

Water closet vs toilet doesn’t make sense since they both refer to the same room. Are urinals considered their counterpart since you pee on them? They aren’t since they’re just fixtures that are added to the bathroom for the disposal of urine.

On the other hand, the toilet is usually mentioned in the building code. The water closet is installed in the bathroom even without a tub. Thus, you can call it the WC bathroom.

Some countries like Germany have a toilet that is separate from the restroom or bathroom. Some houses in the USA follow this setup. Technically, it can still be called a water closet since it’s in an enclosed area and a part of the bathroom. In Russian vocabulary, a simple cottage toilet is not a water closet since the latter has running water and allows you to wash your hands.

WC is commonly used these days as it’s a toilet that has an exact designation or location. When it is found in the ‘toilet’, it’s to meet a certain building code.

Final Words

What does WC mean on toilets? WC means water closet and it’s no different from toilets as they both have running water. People in the past came up with the term ‘water closet’ because a closet was remodeled for the toilet’s designation. Although there are several improvements, it’s hard to get rid of the tradition of using a WC or water closet.

5/5 - (3 votes)