Originally a clipped form of waiting room; in later use, a clipped form of lavatory room, toilet room, private room, etc.
gentlemen's room (plural gentlemen's rooms)
- Any room intended for use by men, particularly:
- 1843, J. Saunders, London, Vol. V, page 278:
- From the indenture... we learn that the house [sc. the Fortune Theater] had three tiers, consisting of boxes, rooms, and galleries; that there were "two-penny rooms," and "gentlemen's"...
- 1845, The Stranger's Guide in Brighton, page 68:
- By a sudden turn to the left, we attain ‘The Cottage’; at the far end of its porch is the gentlemen's room, denominated by a contemporary a Lavatory.
2014, Keith Grossl, The Final Hours of Darkness, page 59:
"Let me try," I said. Taking the rods from my wife, I held them out and asked, "Mr. Adams, are you here?" The rods quickly responded yes. "Will you talk with me?" Again they responded yes. "Why won't you talk with my wife? Is it because she is a woman?" Yes. "Do you want her to leave?" Yes. Laughing, I handed the rods back to my wife. "This is the gentlemen's room," I said, "and you're not supposed to be here." My wife looked back at me with an expression of bewilderment, but I was just as puzzled by her reaction. What's so hard to understand? I wondered quietly. It's the gentlemen's room; that means no women allowed!
- (historical) A waiting room in a railway station or other public building, often including a separate lavatory.
- 1856, Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, Vol. 14, No. 1, page 71:
- ...Passenger House, containing ticket office, baggage room, ladies' room, gentlemen's room, water closet, say 50 feet by 20 feet...
- 1864 July, First Annual Report of the Directors of the Old Colony and Newport Railway Company, page 11:
- On the west side of the hall, on South Street, is a gentlemen's room twenty-seven by thirty-four feet, and a baggage-room thirty-four by forty-six feet, together with an apartment for gentlemen's water-closets, a hackmen's room, and a newspaper stand.
- 1864 January 26, J.G. Lindsay, letter to P.P.L. O'Connel, §8:
- Arconum—I found two chairs wanting in the gentlemen's room, and the bath room attached applied to other purposes...
- 1875 January, John Scholfield, opinion of the Illinois Supreme Court in TW&W Ry Co v Williams:
- He had no lady with him, and his excuse for being in the ladies' room was, the gentlemen's room was too filthy. The little room into which he had gone was the ladies' water-closet... There were signs plainly printed on the doors, showing which rooms were for gentlemen and which for ladies and over the entrance to the little room, from which appellee was ejected, is printed the words: "Ladies' Private Room."
- (euphemistic, dated) Synonym of men's room: a public lavatory intended for men.