Words: retromingent, adj. or n.

"I WOULD offer to let you go first, but this is hardly the place in which you can be retromingent." My gracious explanation, as I gestured towards a urinal, brought bafflement to the face of one of the several women in the gentlemen's lavatory at the White Horse on Parson's Green. After all, neither Sir Thomas Browne nor the Gentlemen's Magazine are usually discussed on that sloppy floor.

Such was the queue for the ladies' caused by the recent jazz festival that bolder spirits among them braved the gents'. Whether or not so gallic a phenomenon spreads further, it is certain that, therein, they will continue to head for the cubicles, for, unless one is a lion or elephant, to be retromingent - that is, to urinate backwards - requires discretion.