One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Scottish An underground passage or cellar, especially in a tenement.
2Australian NZ informal A toilet.
lavatory, wc, water closet, convenience, public convenience, facilities, urinal, privy, latrine, outhouse, earth closet, jakesView synonyms
- ‘Sarah's dad was already getting bumblebee socks for Christmas, but now he was also to receive a terracotta dunny.’
- ‘When she turned to walk back up the short sand beach to the dunny, it was as if she was walking on the moon.’
- ‘But it was also a rubbish dump because there were no municipal garbage collections or anything like, that you had to deposit the stuff somewhere and the dunny was the best place for it.’
- ‘The city is 15 feet below sea level and so they bury everyone above the ground in these little huts that look like dunnies.’
- ‘Despite a degree of reticence from some parts of the Aussie media, tickets for yesterday's showdown were harder to come by than a dunny in the bush (as they say in these parts).’
- ‘Incidentally, if you're on the train direct from Jolimont to Flinders St (not going through the loop), you can actually see the dunnies from the train window if you know where to look.’
- ‘The museum is filled with trivia about the world of the toilet, otherwise known as the commode, bog, loo, dunny, convenience, privy, hiding hall, john, private chapel and necessary room.’
- ‘Whether using sculpture, collage, painting or drawing, the students' works are fresh and colourful - ranging from a picture of a desert made with sand and gum leaves to a depiction of an outback dunny made from old wood and cotton balls.’
- ‘We arrived at the toilet cubicle which was a run-down little shack made of bricks, with a smaller room the size of an outhouse in which was the actual dunny.’
- ‘This outstanding initiative, brought to cross-legged and desperate Aussies by the superbly-named National Continence Management Strategy, is claimed to enable bursting bladders to locate the nearest dunny right down to the metre.’
- ‘Everything from tissues for our noses to our duvets in our tents has the tacky but tasteful print, my favourite being the synthetic leopard skin cover on the dunny.’
- ‘The designer dunny incorporates a voice-activated seat and autoflush, but also boasts the ability to monitor stools and urine for potential health problems.’
- ‘I didn't quite catch all the lyrics myself, but if you just mumble it and think patriotic thoughts (Vegemite, outdoor dunnies, koalas) you should be right.’
- ‘Now it is no more than a pathetic and abjectly partisan rag, not even worthy of tearing up and hanging in the outside dunny.’
- ‘Organisers will surprise the drivers with a wide range of ‘targets’ including caravans, garbage bins and even the odd outdoor dunny.’
- ‘It's becoming easier to ‘live Green’ all the time, and that doesn't just mean taking the bus, not flushing the dunny and rolling your own cigarettes.’
- ‘These were communal dunnies so every now and then someone would open the door, loudly sniff the air and promptly scarper.’
- ‘The resultant cross of biology and art was also turned into a science museum where tour guides refused to tell you where the nearest dunny was and small pamphlets for coming attractions were handed out.’
- ‘A lot of people would prefer a Hamilton bathroom to a West Coast dunny, but I like the dunny.’
- ‘My mother said to eat it outside so I dug a hole in the soft dirt behind the dunny and buried it.’
Early 19th century (in the sense ‘dung’): from dialect dunnekin ‘privy’, probably from dung + archaic slang ken ‘house’. dunny (sense 1) is perhaps a different word.
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