ASL University ►

American Sign Language:   "bathroom" or "toilet"


Even though you see a "T" for the handshape this sign is commonly thought of as meaning "bathroom."  Yes, the sign for toilet is the same sign as "bathroom," but when you see it signed in a sentence you should usually interpret it as bathroom rather than toilet.
The sign for "bathroom" is made by forming the right hand into the letter "t."  The palm side is facing away from you. Shake your hand side to side a couple times. Some people use a twisting movement instead of the side to side shake.  Either is fine, but I prefer the side to side shake. (heh)

BATHROOM / toilet

To ask, "Do you need to go to the bathroom?"  (A frequent question in households with children and/or developmentally disabled folks), just tilt your head forward a bit, raise your eyebrows, and do the "toilet" sign.

"Do you need to go to the bathroom?"


In a message dated 8/11/2011 5:31:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, evergreen474 writes:

Hello Dr. Vicars!
I'm an early childhood educator and I want to incorporate ASL into my classroom. I refer to your site every day as well as go through the self-study units.

I teach young children and one of things they often forget to do is flush the toilet. :)
We wanted a way to tell them without verbally having to remind them ALL the time. If I had to guess, I would say the sign is similar to the gesture you would use when actually flushing the toilet. But I just wanted to verify. Thank you for your time!

Anne Neumann

That is correct, just grab an imaginary toilet handle and twist it in a flushing motion.
-- Bill

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


You can learn sign language online at American Sign Language (ASL) University (tm) 
Sign language lessons and resources.  Dr. William Vicars (c)