One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A bowl used for washing, especially one forming part of an arrangement for washing in a person's bedroom; a wash basin (now rare).
2The part of a flushing toilet into which the user urinates or defecates, consisting of a large ceramic bowl connected to the water cistern and sewer by plumbing.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Manchester Examiner & Times.
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