26 Comments

  1. Do people actually say “TP” out loud to each other in person in the US, as in “tea pea” or “teepee”? It’s not a UK-English thing, but then neither is TP as a written initialism. But if they/you don’t, then presumably the joke doesn’t really work.

    If you don’t want to say Toilet Paper or Toilet Roll round here you say Loo Roll or, slightly more vulgarly, Bog Roll, which is where Blog Roll came from.

  2. Americans mostly use TP as a verb, when kids go to each other’s houses, and ‘decorate’ by covering the front lawn, trees, etc., with toliet paper, ‘We TP’d so and so’s house.’

  3. “Do people actually say “TP” out loud to each other in person in the US, as in “tea pea” or “teepee”?”

    Yes, they do. I consider it a little crude and don’t like it and I don’t want to give the impression everyone does, but, yes, people do say it.

  4. That’s interesting, narmitaj. I hadn’t heard “blogroll,” so I looked it up. “Loo roll” makes plenty of sense. Brian beat me to what I was about to say here, but in the store I’d say “Are you still out of toilet paper?”

  5. There have indeed been comics that have referred to the shortage / hoarding , by showing some kids tp-ing some property, and the residents saying thanks.

  6. Maybe the subordinate has a name like Pete, but he’s affectionately referred to as “Pea.” “Tonight, throw overboard all of the tea, Pea.”

  7. Over there, loo rolls may be necessary for the bog, but over here, Lou Rawls is a singer.

  8. Are people still hoarding and overbuying toilet paper in the U.S.? A few days ago, I saw an item in the German news which claimed that the “hamstering” phase was finally over. The shelves were reasonably well stocked in the supermarket I went to yesterday, at least as far as “T.P.* was concerned (they still didn’t have any yeast).

  9. Kilby, toilet paper is generally available over here. Maybe not one’s preferred brand, but something. Most things that people had been hoarding – canned goods, bottled water, paper towels – are reasonably well stocked now. Still can’t find yeast or bread flour.

  10. I doubt the average person here in the US would know what a “loo roll” might be.

    And I had no idea “TP” as a noun was considered vulgar. Seems to be common usage in online articles.

    In my area, the supply of toilet paper, paper towels (should we call them PT?) and even napkins hasn’t quite caught up with demand. Stores still can’t keep the shelves fully stocked.

    In other news, the couple in Mitch4’s comic won’t be so thankful if it had been a rainy night…

  11. For the past several weeks, at least some TP has been available in most stores. I’ve even seen some Charmin Ultra-Strong, but not Ultra-Soft yet. I’m still reasonably well supplied so I don’t need to go for anything else yet.

  12. In the Seattle area, the store has had plenty of toilet paper for the last month. I don’t understand how some areas can still not have toilet paper. Are people hoarding that much? It seems like after several months of this, the hoarders would so much toilet paper that they wouldn’t want to buy more.

    My store’s supply of flour is still erratic, but I assumed that was because people were stuck at home and baking a lot, rather than hoarding.

  13. TP-ing a house is not, as far as I am aware, a thing over here.

    There’s plenty of loo roll on sale in UK supermarkets these days. But as others report, baking supplies are still in high demand and difficult – flour and yeast certainly, and egg shelves are often pretty sparse though usually not entirely bare. As well as baking, people under lockdown have taken to having longer and more elaborate breakfasts than the traditional commuter fare of a piece of toast while rushing out the door.

    However, round me – a fairly rural area – you can find eggs in roadside stalls easily enough, especially earlier in the day, generally sold by people who keep a few chickens and have some excess over their own daily requirements. Also, duck eggs and goose eggs. As eggs shouldn’t be washed here, and so don’t need to be refrigerated (including in supermarkets), they sit in egg cartons in a simple box to provide some shade, with a jar or tin honesty box for you to drop your coins in. It’s £1-£1.50 for half a dozen hens’ eggs, and £1.20 I have seen for a single goose egg – not that I have ever had one. I tried duck eggs once and didn’t like them much.

    Hmm. I feel sure we have had an egg discussion here already, but maybe that was somewhere else.

  14. In my part of Germany, the shelves are full, but brand selection of TP is still fairly limited.

    As for blogroll, I’d have said it’s far more likely to have been a play on log roll than bog roll. Few Americans would have ever heard the latter when the term was coined and even now it’s only those who watch the right shows on PBS or BBC America. (I think I first heard it on The Thin Blue Line.) And I’d think that American cultural influence is a lot greater on Internet culture.

  15. My sisters around Paris complained about the lack of eggs but I never noticed any shortage up here, in Lille. As for TP, I have no idea, buying only a few rolls every year. Actually, I haven’t had any trouble shopping for my usual groceries throughout all this frantic hoo-hah.

  16. And it never occurred to me at all, until reading the idea here yesterday, that “blogroll” would be derived from anything like “bog roll” or “log rolling”. I assumed it was simply a variation from “blog list”, maybe influenced by “calling the roll”.

  17. Wait, I’m forgetting some of the history. The way Word Press uses it (as you can see low down on your left, maybe) is indeed just a list of blogs or more generally websites. But there used to be a system at a different provider (maybe just Blogger?) where blogs with some relation or shared topics could affiliate, and each would have on its main page a little display with a Next Blog and Previous Blog button to take a visitor thru a cycle of affiliated blogs. And that may have been called Blogroll.

  18. On March 8 – Robert decided we needed to buy TP (too lazy to write it out yet again) at Costco when we went for what used to be our normal Sunday “walk up and down the aisles for exercise while pretend we are looking at things to buy them”. I was confused and explained to him that we had plenty – over a half a Costco package, a started roll and 2 spare rolls in each of 2 bathrooms plus a started roll and 2 spare rolls in our RV. We also had a Walmart sized sealed package of “his special TP” plus a started roll and full roll in each of both bathrooms plus a started roll and spare roll in our RV. (Almost everything non- food, household related ended up with plus in the RV… We did bring in the hand and dish soaps and started tubes of denture glue from same.) But – if a spare package would make him feel better – what the heck, it keeps. I have never before seen an entire section of shelves empty in Costco! He did get a package at BJs up the road from Costco. (Sundays we would go to BJs after Costco and fill the gas tank.)

    In the interim I have replaced one roll of TP and found that we are short one spare roll of TP – so he must have replaced a roll also. In his mind, apparently, we use a roll of TP a week for the two of us.

    He also put a stop to free handed use of paper towels – and if one has to use one – rip it in half – even the half sized ones. I had been using paper towels to wash the dishes since we had ants in the kitchen last summer and I stopped using a dish sponge – and now – no paper towels either? I took 2 old dish towels which had aged into rags and cut them into 12 small pieces to use to wash dishes – change the piece daily – and throw in laundry to reuse. (Thank goodness he has never mentioned tissues.)

    To be fair to him – we have used the denture adhesive and the hand and dish soaps from the RV.

    From a piece I saw I saw on TV back early in March – apparently people find comfort in TP. I would not want to run out – but there are alternatives – I have a lot of old kitchen towels which can be cut up and tossed out. Leaves were popular in the 1700s 🙂

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