Tŷ bach

Why is the alternative phrase for toilet “lle chwech”? I know there’s a 12 seat loo in Porth Penrhyn, but not all families were like mine, with six bottoms to accommodate :grin:

I seem to remember there are various theories but no consensus.

My personal theory (I have no proof whatsoever, only suspicions!) is that it may have originally been “llech wech” because an older meaning of llech (other than for slate or slab) is ‘squatting’ and wech (gwech) is the feminine form of gwych (which loses its g after llech because llech is feminie). So this would translate as “magnificent squatting” :face_with_hand_over_mouth:. But as we know, the Welsh are very polite, so maybe “lle chwech” became a polite version of “llech wech” :thinking:

As I said - just my own personal interpretation. If anyone wants to adopt it, that’s up to them! :wink:


Whole thread here, including some interesting and informative speculation and comparison with English… Lle chwech (toilet): Uhhh?

Adding “magnificent squatting” to my personal welsh canon NAWR! :laughing:


Right! I’d almost consider forming a band just to make a record titled llech wech/magnificent squatting :rofl:

Not a topic for dinner time, maybe, but well…this also makes me wonder if in Wales there were/are those called Turkish toilet. They’re still quite common here, but Americans (and a few others) just panic whenever they find one cause they don’t seem able to figure them out! :rofl:

1 Like

Bad taste alert!
My grandfather worked at RTBs, a huge steel works in Ebbw Vale. The toilet facilities in the early days consisted of a bar in a toilet block over a stream of water long enough to accommodate about a dozen seated customers. The bar was positioned about a foot from the back wall which had a 2 foot / 60 cm gap above the ground to aid ventilation!
Two young apprentices devised a “wizard ruse”. One went outside to the back of the toilet with a brush full of creosote (liquid tar). The other was positioned inside to “observe”. As the one ran along the outside with his tarry brush inserted to make contact with the seated defecators, the other witnessed them yell and leap up in quick succession from left to right.
I hope I have painted an evocative picture without spoiling your meal. :grin:


Serves to draw in a larger readership … and it worked. Great story.

1 Like