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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 ?
Under the second scenario, in the absence of an agreement between both parties the laundry owner shall seek an agreement with the consumer on the value of compensation for the damage, loss, colour change, etc, to end the dispute without infringing the rights of the consumer while taking into account the condition, price and date of purchase of the items concerned by referring to the purchase invoice or through other means, the MEC statement explains.
Bidvest Laundry Group offers and A-Z laundry services solution to the South African market.
If you're in the Laundry Care industry in Turkey, our research will save you time and money while empowering you to make informed, profitable decisions.
This incorporates Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to monitor and track laundry so that a customer can track what stage of the process their laundry batch is going through at a specific point in time.
The daily laundry run is now taken to the firm's Leicester facility, more than 100 miles away.
The renovated laundry will feature large washer extractors, along with dry cleaning and ironing machines.
Alliance Laundry is an indirect unit of ALH Holding Inc, a company in the portfolio
The recent introduction of laundry "scent-boosting' products that can enhance or complement a detergent's scent reflects this trend.
They are programmed to handle everyday laundry items as well as outdoor gear, tech fabrics, down filled items, wet suits and even tents.
Before the report's release, the Justice for Magdalenes survivor advocacy group said the Irish government was aware of the nature and function of the laundries and enacted legislation to enable the use of one laundry as a remand home.
In early May 2012, the Carolinas Poison Center received reports of two critically ill young children who had been exposed to laundry detergent from pods.
WaveVision, a Web-based laundry services portal from Heartland Payment Systems, aims to take the stress out of dorm laundry.
NEW YORK -- Mainstream consumers are interested in laundry detergents made with natural ingredients, as long as the products perform just as well as traditional detergents--and don't cost any more.
Method has launched Laundry Smarts, the second phase of a campaign aimed to end "America's addiction" to laundry jugs--and to raise awareness for its new laundry detergent with" smart-clean" technology, which hit shelves earlier this year.