The color of toilet paper is a topic of discussion among tourists, especially the ones who have visited France before. White or pink? In the country, most toilet paper rolls are pink or pink-ish. They are also known as PQ, i.e. pécu, short for papier cul, which literally translates to bum paper. That’s not hard to figure out.
There are also white rolls, and you will find many of them, regardless of where ever you visit in the country. The history of this type of toilet paper goes back to China in the 6th-century. However, regardless of how far back it goes, PQ only became widely used in the 1960s. Of course, it has been around since the turn of the century. It wasn’t just a commodity.
Toilet rolls were set aside for the luxurious. Newspapers were used for a while before people began to use something else. At the start of the century, toilet papers were produced from wood pulp. They were been used at the beginning until protests by the WWF changed things. Subsequent to fierce protests, toilet roll tubes began to be manufactured from recycled paper.
After the recycled paper was used, it looked greyish. So it appears it needed more bleaching or more dyeing. But the grey toilet paper looked less appealing at the end. There is nothing special about toilet paper being pink in France as it is a regional preference.
But getting to know who started the trend has been difficult. Highlighting the regional preference for toilet paper color, the Germans love their toilet paper with motifs. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans prefer it white. You can always trust the French to go against the flow.
As the world went for white toilet paper, French people maintained their own, and it has been a shade of pink. Indeed, too much bleach isn’t good for the environment, but regardless of how much you convince a French, they don’t go for white toilet rolls.
You should know that the pink-ish toilet roll you will find in France is a little more costly. But since white toilet paper isn’t common, there isn’t much of a choice. And as you might have observed, toilet roll is always evolving. Most recently, there have been additions to the pack. You will find 4-ply papers, scented papers, and even quilted papers in the market. Toilet papers have been evolving elsewhere. Despite this, do not expect the French to change theirs.
Colored toilet paper used to be popular until poor sales figures and other concerns affected their fame. Ecological and medical reasons are some of the concerns about the overall safety of pastel dyes. Toilet papers also come with designs. Having designs on them is to make them more appealing to the eyes. The design patterns can also be a way for the various toilet paper producers to distinguish their brands and make their products appear elite. You would love colored tissue papers when you see them, even though they are rare. But, they are more expensive.
How Is Toilet Paper is Called in France?
In France, it is important to know what to say when you are referring to toilet paper. It is known as papier toilette. But similar to any other language, grammatical rules make it all complicated. You will still be able to get by with PQ or papier toilette, though. In a place like the U.S., one can say the words toilet and paper, and it will be no problem. That is not the case in France because that will be more complicated.
When used as nouns, toilet paper has different translations. For example, when are you supposed to say le papier hygiénique when referring to a wad of toilet paper? Or when do you say papier-toilette?
It is important to regard the letter ‘S’. Look at the words papers toilette and papier toilettes. These terms both refer to toilet paper in France. And as you already know, the French language is more complicated. Nevertheless, there is a solution when you want to ask for toilet paper in France. The simple and easy route is PQ.
Apart From Pink Toilet Paper, What Else do the French People Use?
It is called a bidet. It isn’t only popular in France; most European countries use it as well. They also use a spout. What the spout does is stream water in a similar way to a water fountain. This way, the user wouldn’t need tissue paper.
Squat toilets are also used in France, even though they aren’t common. Some buildings still use them, especially the old ones. They used to be widely used at the beginning of the 1900s.
Squat toilets require squatting and not sitting. You will also find different times of squat toilets, but they all consist of a loo pan at the level of the floor. The loo pan is also called a toilet or squatting pan.
Is Toilet Paper in France Pink or White? – Summary
There are few white toilet papers in France; however, most are pink. I’m sure you must have known by now why this is so. The truth is, the French always have it their way despite the evolving colors and trends of toilet paper. When in France, just say PQ to refer to it. The language’s complexity can be burdensome, especially when you desperately need a wad of toilet paper and you’re trying to let a native know.