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My children sometimes touch the the rim of the toilet bowl as shown in the above picture as they have no idea how dirty it is.

We often use "the lip/ rim of a cup/ a pot...".

I am not sure if it is correct to say "Do not touch the rim of the toilet" or "Do not touch the lip of the toilet"?

If we can't say that then do we have to say "Do not touch the edge of the toilet"?

  • 3
    Maybe if you call it "the part of the toilet daddy accidentally pees on" they'll get the message. :p
    – ralph.m
    May 23 at 12:52
  • 1
    For "which is correct" questions, you can usually ask nGrams first: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – gotube
    May 23 at 17:17
  • 1
    To me, that's what we call "the toilet bowl" in the UK. The rim of the toilet bowl if you want to be very specific.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 22 at 12:47

2 Answers 2


In British English it is normally called the 'rim'. Since the 1970s, toilet cleaning products which have a nozzle designed for getting around that part of the toilet have been advertised as being able to clean "around the rim". You'll notice it used repeatedly in this article on toilet cleaners.

I've certainly never heard it called the 'lip'. We normally use this term to describe something that overhangs another part or section, or an edge that curves outwards, not something that curls inwards to form a neat rim. Looking at Google Books, 'lip of the toilet' has appeared in a few US English publications, but 'rim of the toilet' appears more than 7 times as often. There are no references at all in British English.


Both "rim" and "lip" can be used to refer to the top edge of the toilet bowl. Therefore, you can say "Do not touch the rim/lip of the toilet."

"Edge" is also a valid alternative, so you could say "Do not touch the edge of the toilet" if you prefer. However, using "rim" or "lip" would be more specific in this case, as it refers to the exact part of the toilet that you don't want your children to touch.

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