Meaning of dunny in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdʌni/


  • 1Scottish An underground passage or cellar, especially in a tenement.

  • 2Australian, New Zealand informal A toilet.

    • ‘The museum is filled with trivia about the world of the toilet, otherwise known as the commode, bog, loo, dunny, convenience, privy, hiding hall, john, private chapel and necessary room.’
    • ‘We arrived at the toilet cubicle which was a run-down little shack made of bricks, with a smaller room the size of an outhouse in which was the actual dunny.’
    • ‘The city is 15 feet below sea level and so they bury everyone above the ground in these little huts that look like dunnies.’
    • ‘Whether using sculpture, collage, painting or drawing, the students' works are fresh and colourful - ranging from a picture of a desert made with sand and gum leaves to a depiction of an outback dunny made from old wood and cotton balls.’
    • ‘It's becoming easier to ‘live Green’ all the time, and that doesn't just mean taking the bus, not flushing the dunny and rolling your own cigarettes.’
    • ‘Everything from tissues for our noses to our duvets in our tents has the tacky but tasteful print, my favourite being the synthetic leopard skin cover on the dunny.’
    • ‘Sarah's dad was already getting bumblebee socks for Christmas, but now he was also to receive a terracotta dunny.’
    • ‘Now it is no more than a pathetic and abjectly partisan rag, not even worthy of tearing up and hanging in the outside dunny.’
    • ‘My mother said to eat it outside so I dug a hole in the soft dirt behind the dunny and buried it.’
    • ‘Incidentally, if you're on the train direct from Jolimont to Flinders St (not going through the loop), you can actually see the dunnies from the train window if you know where to look.’
    • ‘I didn't quite catch all the lyrics myself, but if you just mumble it and think patriotic thoughts (Vegemite, outdoor dunnies, koalas) you should be right.’
    • ‘These were communal dunnies so every now and then someone would open the door, loudly sniff the air and promptly scarper.’
    • ‘A lot of people would prefer a Hamilton bathroom to a West Coast dunny, but I like the dunny.’
    • ‘But it was also a rubbish dump because there were no municipal garbage collections or anything like, that you had to deposit the stuff somewhere and the dunny was the best place for it.’
    • ‘When she turned to walk back up the short sand beach to the dunny, it was as if she was walking on the moon.’
    • ‘Organisers will surprise the drivers with a wide range of ‘targets’ including caravans, garbage bins and even the odd outdoor dunny.’
    • ‘Despite a degree of reticence from some parts of the Aussie media, tickets for yesterday's showdown were harder to come by than a dunny in the bush (as they say in these parts).’
    • ‘The resultant cross of biology and art was also turned into a science museum where tour guides refused to tell you where the nearest dunny was and small pamphlets for coming attractions were handed out.’
    • ‘The designer dunny incorporates a voice-activated seat and autoflush, but also boasts the ability to monitor stools and urine for potential health problems.’
    • ‘This outstanding initiative, brought to cross-legged and desperate Aussies by the superbly-named National Continence Management Strategy, is claimed to enable bursting bladders to locate the nearest dunny right down to the metre.’
    lavatory, WC, water closet, convenience, public convenience, facilities, urinal, privy, latrine, outhouse, earth closet, jakes


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘dung’): from dialect dunnekin ‘privy’, probably from dung + archaic slang ken ‘house’. dunny (sense 1) is perhaps a different word.