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dirty linen

One's personal, intimate, or private matters or secrets, especially that which may be embarrassing if made public. From the expression "don't wash/air your dirty linen in public." Those who consider running for public office must be aware that their dirty linen is likely to be exposed to the public. David is such a gossip, always talking about other people's dirty linen.
See also: dirty, linen

air (one's) dirty laundry in public

To discuss very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't air his dirty laundry in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to air their dirty laundry in public.
See also: air, dirty, laundry, public

laundry list

A very long list of items. I have a laundry list of projects I need to get done before Friday. The senator began the hearing by reading a laundry list of accusations for nearly 30 minutes!
See also: laundry, list

dirty laundry

One's very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't air his dirty laundry in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to wash their dirty laundry in public.
See also: dirty, laundry

wash (one's) dirty laundry in public

To discuss very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't wash his dirty laundry in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to wash their dirty laundry in public.
See also: dirty, laundry, public, wash

in the laundry

with the clothes that are waiting to be washed. Is my blue shirt clean or is it in the laundry? All my socks are in the laundry. What shall I do?
See also: laundry

someone's dirty laundry

Fig. someone's unpleasant secrets. I don't want to hear about her dirty laundry. Why do you feel it necessary to gossip about things like this?
See also: dirty, laundry

wash one's dirty linen in public

Also air one's dirty linen or laundry . Expose private matters to public view, especially unsavory secrets. These metaphors are reworkings of a French proverb, Il faut laver son linge sale en famille ("One should wash one's dirty linen at home"), which was quoted by Napoleon on his return from Elba (1815). It was first recorded in English in 1867.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

wash your dirty linen in public

mainly BRITISH or

wash your dirty laundry in public

mainly BRITISH or

air your dirty linen in public

mainly AMERICAN or

air your dirty laundry in public

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON If someone washes their dirty linen in public or washes their dirty laundry in public, they talk publicly about unpleasant matters that should be private. We shouldn't wash our dirty laundry in public and if I was in his position, I'd say nothing at all. She thinks she can score points by airing the family's dirty linen in public. Note: There are many other variations of this expression. For example, you can leave out `in public' or `dirty'. In Spain, it seems, airing dirty linen is considered more serious than any offence itself. My brother has washed that linen in public and embarrassed me. Note: You can also just talk about dirty linen or dirty laundry to mean unpleasant facts that should remain private. We know much more than we ever did before about the doings of Congressmen. So, we're seeing more dirty laundry. It is certainly a huge disadvantage of being famous that everyone wants to see your dirty linen.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

a laundry list

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON A laundry list is a long list of things, especially things you need or want. The president then went through a laundry list of proposals. This document is expected to set out a laundry list of reasons why shareholders should reject the bid.
See also: laundry, list

wash your dirty linen in public

discuss or argue about your personal affairs in public.
This expression dates from the early 19th century in English; a similar French expression about linge sale is attributed to Napoleon.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

wash your dirty linen in ˈpublic

(British English, disapproving) talk or write about unpleasant or embarrassing private difficulties in public: Nobody must mention these problems at the meeting. I don’t want our dirty linen washed in public.
In this idiom, linen refers to clothes, especially underwear.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

dirty linen

and dirty laundry
n. scandal; unpleasant private matters. I wish you wouldn’t put our dirty linen out for everyone to see. She seems always to drag out her dirty linen whenever possible.
See also: dirty, linen

dirty laundry

verb
See also: dirty, laundry
References in periodicals archive ?
Distinguishing between regular service prices and quick service prices As for the distinction between the prices and terms for a regular service as opposed to an urgent service, the initiative compels laundries to announce the service delivery period and distinguish between normal and urgent deadlines and their prices.
Al Ain Municipality has been revamping the rules and regulations since 2008 to streamline laundries and has issued compliance warnings.
Many people here are disappointed that the laundries are going to close down.
Records were available to investigators for eight of the 10 laundries that were probed.
In response to ergonomics and, ultimately, better efficiency, on-premise laundries in nursing homes and other healthcare environments are moving away from stationary storage of clean linens in favor of mobility.
Edmondson did agree with the heads of institutional laundries about factory legislation.
The laundries have been brought to the screen in the fictionalized film The Magdalene Sisters The film, released in Europe last September to the wide condemnation of the Vatican and the United States based Catholic League as anti-Catholic, follows four years in the lives of three young inmates at the laundries in the 1960s.
Mohun begins with a theoretical introduction, pointing out that it is interesting that laundries and their workers have been so neglected in academic work, especially when you consider that "Laundry is a problem that refuses to go away.
check lighting For no-iron laundries, place lights above the folding tables.
Alliance Laundry Systems LLC is a leading North American manufacturer of commercial laundry products and provider of services for laundromats, multi-housing laundries and on-premise laundries.
The ADC symbol is the hallmark trusted by laundries worldwide for total quality.
Customers include coin laundries, commercial laundries, on-premise laundries (hotels, hospitals, cruise ships) and textile rental companies.
s Model HD 80 dryer, designed for use in on-premises laundries, can dry a 55-pound load in 21 minutes, which means more loads dried during the workday.
In most laundries this is contrary to the actual layout because the dryers are pulling air toward them.
Jeffrey Barman was previously Chief Executive Officer of Lucky Spin Laundries, LLC.