Why Did Outhouses Have Crescent Moons On The Door? Because Of This

crescent moon

The long-winded urban legend is that the crescent moon was once utilized to separate the men’s outhouses from the women’s outhouses.

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The crescent moon acted in the same fashion as the peculiarly triangle-shaped human figure etched on today’s restrooms to direct women to the restrooms, whilst the non-triangle shaped human figure highlights the bathrooms that men use.

Allegedly, the men’s outhouses once had a star or sun symbol, however the women’s half moon shape is the one that endured into public consciousness because males possess bathroom habits than females do and their outhouses all disintegrated ultimately, thus being lost in the wind while only the women’s outhouses stayed erect. Now, we are not stating that we personally feel that gentlemen have far worse bathroom habits than ladies do, we’re just repeating the dopey legend.

It’s said, the moon as a emblem for “female” has ancient roots behind it. Though Dr. Adam Davis, a folklorist, who wrote an entire article on the subject in 2007 expressing there isn’t much evidence to confirm the mainstream theory about the crescent moon as a symbol for females’ outhouse.

Now outhouses did have holes cut into the doors, which is facts. They too allowed in a bit of light so you could see when you were doing a number one or number two.

The top guess for the pattern, though, is this: It appeared nice looking. It then circulated through the mid-1900s pop culture. Somebody at the time most likely witnessed a crescent moon carved on their neighbor’s outhouse and spoke, “Hey I like that! Do you care if I place a moon on my outhouse, too?”

The neighbor retorted, “Sure, like why not? Whatever.” And hence the crescent moon carving spread like wildfire and into textbooks and Westerns, and at length someone felt as if they had to make up a fable to justify it.


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Aaron Granger


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