A primitive toilet of sorts. It takes the form of a shack situated over a pit. In the shack is a bench with a hole in it which opens above the pit. You sit on the bench with your arse above the hole and excrete into the pit.

Traditionally, in an outhouse, one uses the Sears Roebuck catalog for toilet paper. It is also a good idea to dump some quicklime down the pit periodically to keep the odor down.

See also: kharzi, terleck, kybo, shithouse.

A derisive reference to outsourcing a project to a vendor - literally the opposite of doing it "in house."

I grew up in a very small town, roughly 40 people or so.

Although we didn't have an outhouse (upper class white trash, we lived in a trailer) my little brother and I still found it possible to have fun with one.

Yes, it's time for fun with outhouses!

  • Wait until the middle of the night. 1AM or so farmer time.

  • Sneak out through an open window, and drop silently to the ground.

  • Walk! your bicycles the first one hundred yards or so down the gravel driveway.

  • Ride a few miles to a farmers home.

  • Park your bikes, and quietly move to the backyard where you'd previously scoped an outhouse.

  • Creep up to the outhouse and lift it gently from its foundations (it wasn't hard since these things were just placed down and move often as shit filled the hole in the ground under them)

  • Move the outhouse back a foot or two, leaving a gaping hole of shit where the door would normally be.

  • Retreat to the nearby woods and watch the fun! If you were lucky a farmer in his (or her) nighclothes would exit their home to use the outhouse.

  • Laugh or don't laugh, as the unlucky farmer steps, unwittenly into a hole a shit.

  • RUN LIKE HELL! since they are usually armed

Through my days of camping and back packing, I have encountered a wide rage of various styles of outhouses, from the most minimal to lavish. These are most often found in scout camps and thus have a certain... style to them - often not worrying about such things as partitions.

The artwork in public outhouses is often on the crude side - this is what people are thinking of at the time they are using them. This ranges from the classic poem (with substations as appropriate):

Here I sit all broken hearted
Tried to poop and only farted
Graffiti is especially common in places where you aren't going to return for some period of time... and in the rare instance there is some especially interesting piece of artwork. Some of the most... memorable artwork that I recall was detailed drawing of female anatomy around a knothole. While this alone is interesting (especially to the mind of a pubescent male), one has to wonder in retrospect the inspiration for it... was it:
  • An opportune moment for some pornography?
  • The fact that anyone who used the hole would be waving his member to the entire public?
  • The poison ivy patch right outside the hole that the member would be waving in?

One seaters

The Throne
The most basic of the one seaters and most minimal of all. This 'outhouse' barely qualifies for the word 'house' while 'out' certainly does apply. The throne is a seat in the open. No walls. It gets its name from the fact that sitting on it you are the master of all you survey and often leads to sitting back and enjoying the nature around you. Realize also that you are surveyed by all around you too - including the wildlife.

This style is only found in the mild temperatures and often features a metal seat. Wood exposed to the elements has the tendency to rot (termites in the seat are not fun, nor is fungus) and plastic just doesn't have the staying power. As metal is a remarkable conductor, the seat often has the exact same temperature as the surroundings. Early mornings often include some dew (I hope that was dew). A sunny afternoon in late summer should be watched out for - this can lead to very painful posteriors as the scorching metal comes in contact with skin that is rather sensitive. This style is paticularly prone to 'hovering' by men as practiced by many women.

The Stall
One step above the throne, the stall is essentially a wall and (the vast majority of the time) a roof. This is the classic outhouse and often features the classic moon on the door. This style has been emulated by the port-a-potties, though rarely has the style for stand up urination as the port-a-potties do (see chemical toilet for more about these).

Two and more seaters

Pilot to Co-pilot
Picture a bench. Picture a bench with two holes in it and walls on all sides. That is the essence of this style which derives its name from the cockpit of a plane. As with many multiple seaters, partitions between the seats are not used. This leads to uncomfortable situations when one or more person is embarrassed about his (or her - though unfortunately that was never an issue at Scout camps) equipment and partial nudity in the presence of others.

Pilot to Bombardier
Pilot to bombardier, pilot to bombardier - prepare to drop chocolate chipmunks. Over.
Thats a no can do - I'm currently releasing the hershey's squirts. Over.

Similar to the pilot to co-pilot style, this version had two seats placed one behind the other, both facing the same direction. Occasionally a wall is placed between them (some sense of privacy) so that the individual in front has something to lean back upon (the individual in the back has the outer wall for this).

Back to back
A variant on the pilot to bombardier this one had a bench with a partition between them such that the users of the stall would be back to back to each other. A rarely seen (and very unpopular) version of this had no such wall and lead to many uncomfortable shouts of "Dude! Don't lean back! Thats just un-cool!" as one person would accidently stretch. It furthermore had the problem that when someone got up, they would be mooning the other person's back. This rarely was a problem except in the case of flatulence or diarrhea.

With all this talk about outhouses, I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the subject of safety. I suppose there aren't any insects, arachnids or snakes to worry about up in Alaska, but in (for example) the hot, humid backwoods of Texas, these things should be foremost on the mind of any responsible outhouse-user. As someone who grew up in Texas and spent a lot of time going on camping trips with various scout groups, I've learned a few things:

  1. Stinging insects are your worst enemy.

  2. The very first thing you should do, before even opening the outhouse door, is check for wasps, hornets, bees, scorpions1 and fire ants. If you're in Texas and the outhouse is outdoors, I can almost guarantee you there will at least be fire ants. Fire ants hurt, and you do not want them biting your sensitive nether-areas. If you see fire ants around the outside of the outhouse, you're better off finding a nice place in the woods to squat.

    Now, after checking for fire ants around the perimeter of the outhouse, put one ear up against a wall and listen for buzzing. You want to determine, before opening the door, whether or not you will be attacked by an angry swarm of wasps, hornets or bees. Yellow jackets particularly like outhouses, se be careful. If you don't hear buzzing, cautiously open the door and check the seat and surrounding area for fire ants and scorpions. Believe me -- if you think getting stung on your soft fleshy bits by fire ants is bad, getting stung by a scorpion will hurt a million times more.

  3. Sleeping snakes don't like being awakened.

  4. Carefully survey the floor and the area around the seat for snakes. They'll often slither into an outhouse to escape the hot sun (or to hibernate).

  5. Spiders don't like being sat on.

  6. Lift the seat and check for spiders. More often than not, if the outhouse hasn't been used in a while, there will be a spider clinging happily to a web built right across the opening under the seat (or the seat itself). Sitting or pooping on a spider will make them very angry, and some of them are very poisonous. Even if the spider you piss off (or piss on, ha ha!) isn't poisonous, spider bites on your ass are not pleasant.

With these three simple guidelines and a bit of luck, your outhouse experience should be pleasant and productive (or at least productive).

1 Yes, I know, scorpions are technically arachnids.

It should be noted that the euphemistic usage of "outhouse" for a place to take a dump accessible only via the big room appears to be an exclusively American one, and, to judge from Webster 1913, of more recent date that that. In those areas of the English-speaking world where faeces-related euphemism remains one step behind the world leaders in the subject, such that one does not crap in the bathroom (that being a room with a bath in it; other facilities optional), "outhouse" is simply a synonym for the generic "outbuilding". Figuratively, very sturdily built people in such areas are from time to time described as being "built like a brick shithouse". The terms "outside toilet" or "privy" will generally be used in in the UK or Ireland; "dunny" is also known, especially in the Antipodes. Note that this is not (or, at any road, has within living memory not been) an exclusively rural phenomenon; the privy was once a common feature of terraced houses in the industrial areas of the UK until relatively recently; they were not always removed when the luxury of inside plumbing arrived and can still be found in a secondary role in a few houses.

Oh yeah, and an ad hoc installation that you create yourself while doing the Great Outdoors stuff (or on military field service) would be a latrine, while the temporary installations for public events are mostly known eponymically in the UK as Portaloos, the trade name of the market leader.

Out"house` (?), n.

A small house or building at a little distance from the main house; an outbuilding.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.