20090105

McClean at the Basel Hauptbahnhof


Many blog posts and such exist about the prevalence of English words in matters of Swiss business. An example: McClean is company that operates pay-to-use public toilets in public transportation venues around Switzerland (perhaps even in some neighboring countries, but the website is down as I compose this so I can't check). Except for the one that I used in Bern, I can attest that most of them are maintained at a very high level. FYI, it costs CHF 2 to use the general facilities and CHF 1 for the, um, Pissoir.

By the way, I checked in the online Oxford American Dictionaries and found that the word pissoir, a word adopted into English from the French, doesn't have the vulgar connotation that the root word does.

20081219

8 comments:

Halcyon said...

I always thought those bathrooms were funny. Why McClean? There is also a chain of paper shops in Germany called McPaper. I guess Europeans just think the Mc gives the name a little something extra!

Conchscooter said...

It is incredibly unfair to present someone with an entry like this when they have not yet managed to shed their puerile english boarding school sense of humo(u)r. I want a gold star for my restraint.

Julie said...

This is shaping to be an interesting series, Z. Like your series last year on garbage. It tells me so much about how ordinary people live in your part of the world. Goodo ...

Baron's Life said...

Reminds me of McDonald's...guess the name is catchy. I think you're doing a good job of shedding some light on how Europeans live. Love the photography. What kind of camera are you using?

claude said...

It is very important that the public toilets are very very Clean and in france we have to pay too. Pissoir is a overfamilar word coming from the verb "pisser" = To have a pee. The best word is Urinoir = public urinal.

Z said...

Halcyon: A triumph for the Irish and the Scots? Via McDonald's.

Conchscooter: And you may have one! *Toss*

Julie: I sincerely hope you mean it because I'm ploughing ahead, encouraged by comments such as yours.

Baron: I think the popularity of McD's is what all corporations dream of. Camera: usually a Lumix FZ7 (more details at the foot of the blog).

Claude: Now, Urinoir I haven't seen yet. Is that the word used on these types of loos near you?

mkhansen said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I find that bright aqua neon "pissoir" oddly hilarious! Not sure what color I would prefer -- clearly it's supposed to denote "clean."

Gail's Man said...

McClean's in the UK relates to a brand of toothpaste.