When referring to a toilet, what do the letters WC stand for?
The term "water closet" ("WC") was an early term for an interior or exterior room with a flushing toilet in contrast with an earth closet usually outdoors and requiring periodic emptying as "night soil". Originally, the term "wash-down closet" was used. The term "water closet" was coined in England around 1870. It did not reach the United States until the 1880s. Around this time, only luxury hotels and wealthy people had indoor private bathrooms. By 1890 in the US, there was increased public awareness of the theory of disease and of carelessly disposed human waste being contaminated and infectious.
The term "water closet" now often refers to a room that has both a toilet and other plumbing fixtures such as a sink or a bathtub. Plumbing manufacturers often use the term "water closet" to differentiate toilets from urinals. American plumbing codes refer to a toilet as a "Water Closet" or a "WC". Many European languages refer to a toilet as a "water" or "WC".