Is it a wrong or right English to say I took a piss Indicating that she went to urinate. But I was thinking the right way to put it should be I took a pee Can I have a better way to put this other than I went to urinate.

  • 1
    Related: peeing vs pissing; also the verbs pee and piss
    – J.R.
    Jul 19, 2016 at 16:42
  • On a kind of related note: "he's taking a piss" = "he's urinating"; "he's taking the piss" = "he's making fun (joke) of something" (BrE)
    – Peter
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


In British English, to take a pee is a little more polite than take a piss. You could ask your child in public "do you need to take a pee?" and it would be inoffensive to other adults nearby. "Do you need to take a piss?" would be shocking. Piss is the equivalent of shit. Pee is the equivalent of poo.


If by "better" you mean in a more euphemistic way, then yes:

I had to go number one.


I went number one.

go number one = to urinate

go number two = to defecate

Keep in mind that both connote childishness, but I think it's good enough if you're with friends. If you want to be formal, I'd recommend saying:

I went to the bathroom.

Taking a piss is correct English by the way:


  • 1
    If any adult said " I have to go #1" and there were no children around, I would think them very odd. If you can't say, "I need to pee" just say "excuse me, I'll be right back".
    – ColleenV
    Jul 19, 2016 at 17:41
  • This is at best archaic. I've got family in US and am myself from the UK. Never heard this used seriously since I was a child. For no reason I can discern "pee" is somehow more polite than "piss".
    – djna
    Jul 19, 2016 at 19:31
  • iLove Sophie - does this mean that it's more formal to take a bath, rather than just to void one's bladder? Jul 19, 2016 at 19:37
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    @djna Pee came later as a euphemistic abbreviation for piss according to etymology online etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=pee.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 19, 2016 at 20:08
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    @iLoveSophie Not so seriously, no. Poking fun at the common euphemism which I know has puzzled more than one beginning student of English. When a dining companion announced that she was going to the bathroom, one such student once turned to me and said: Elle peut laver seulement ses mains, non? Jul 19, 2016 at 21:36

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