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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

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 your dirty laundry/linen in public

  (British & Australian) also air your dirty laundry/linen in public (American & Australian)
to talk to other people about personal things that you should keep private I was brought up to believe that it was wrong to wash your dirty linen in public.
See play dirty, talk dirty
See also: dirty, laundry, public, wash

a laundry list

  (mainly American)
a long list of subjects (usually + of ) It wasn't much of a speech - just a laundry list of accusations against the government.
See also: laundry, list

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

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

See also: dirty, laundry
References in periodicals archive ?
Al Ain Municipality has been revamping the rules and regulations since 2008 to streamline laundries and has issued compliance warnings.
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.
The vast majority of these reformers were middle- and upper-class women who, after having found collective bargaining unsuccessful, looked to legislation to improve conditions in the laundries.
Laundries with no-iron linens should have at least three or four changes of air a minute for best results.
WASH's acquisition of Universal Laundries represents another important step in our expansion efforts," says Adam Coffey, WASH's president and CEO.
Allied sells and leases industrial and commercial laundry equipment to nursing homes, hotels and motels, coin laundries, dry cleaners, multi-family housing facilities, schools, car washes, health clubs, hospitals and prisons.
Customers include coin laundries, commercial laundries, on-premise laundries (hotels, hospitals, cruise ships) and textile rental companies.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, coin laundries from all across the country stepped up their philanthropic efforts.
Today's coin laundries feature several ancillary services, such as wash- dry-fold, a laundry drop-off service that allows customers to drop the laundry off and pick it up the next day all washed, dried and folded - just like mom used to do.
For communities, the results are modernized laundries which reduce their daily water usage by thousands of gallons each while returning a better quality of effluent water to community water supplies.
25 /PRNewswire/ -- Coinmach Laundry Corporation (Nasdaq: WDRY) is pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kwik Wash Laundries L.
Jeffrey Barman was previously Chief Executive Officer of Lucky Spin Laundries, LLC.
Akin's operation presently boasts 70 laundries in 23 states, including new franchises in Canada and Northern Ireland.
Morton Pollack, CEO of PWS commented, "I am very excited about this acquisition, especially with the prospect of being in the Route business and developing our SpinCycle brand of Superstore coin and card laundries throughout the southwest.