wipe the slate clean

wipe (one's) slate clean

To erase the record of one's wrong-doings, likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late a bunch of times, but after he heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, my boss said he would wipe my slate clean. Mom said she would wipe your slate clean if you pay for the vase you broke.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

wipe the slate clean

see under clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

wipe the slate clean

COMMON
1. If you wipe the slate clean, you get rid of an existing system so that you can replace it with a new one. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. The chief executive said: `What we have done is wipe the slate clean and start again with this complete rethink'. There's a strong desire to wipe the slate clean and call for early elections. Note: You can also say that you are starting something with a clean slate. The new chief executive has clearly decided to start with a clean slate as he takes on one of the toughest jobs in British retailing.
2. If you wipe the slate clean, you stop owing money to someone, after paying back all your debts or agreeing with someone that they will ignore a debt. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. When his campaign ended he owed $4 million; after 12 weeks of hard work he was able to wipe the slate clean. Note: When you begin something without owing any money, you can say that you start with a clean slate. The proposal is to pay everything you owe, so that you can start with a clean slate. Before accepting the job he tried to persuade the government to wipe out the deficit and allow him to start with a clean slate.
3. If you wipe the slate clean, you start your life again, living in a completely new and better way, after a period of being punished for something wrong that you have done. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. Serving a prison sentence makes some people believe they have wiped the slate clean and that they can start afresh. Note: You can also say someone starts with a clean slate. I had hoped that when he came back he would stop taking drugs and start with a clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

wipe the slate clean

forgive or forget past faults or offences; make a fresh start.
In former times, shopkeepers and pub landlords would keep a record of what was owing to them by writing the details on a tablet of slate; a clean slate was one on which no debts were recorded.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

wipe the slate ˈclean

agree to forget about past mistakes or arguments and start again with a relationship: We’re both to blame. Let’s wipe the slate clean and start again.In the past, people wrote on a slate with chalk (= a soft white stone). If you wiped it, you rubbed off the marks written on it.
See also: clean, slate, wipe
References in classic literature ?
I believe we forgot everything, except of course, personal fear, and it seemed to wipe the slate clean and give us a fresh start.
In statements prior to their encounter in the German capital on Tuesday, the two ministers expressed their collective countries' mutual desires to wipe the slate clean, citing a raft of measures both nations have taken to improve bilateral ties.
Match's dating expert Vicki Pavitt said: "People want a fresh start and January is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and try something new.
Looking to wipe the slate clean and reinvent yourself in a new city?
But it's time to wipe the slate clean and start again.
Remarkably, you're in the mood to wipe the slate clean with Lee Charnley, even if you are unhappy with the way he performed last season.
Today offers the traditional chance to wipe the slate clean and pursue a fresh start so let's do that and approach the challenges ahead with energy, hope and a real commitment to do the right, human thing.
However, it seems likely he will be able to wipe the slate clean when the amnesty comes into place at midnight on December 31, with Roberto Martinez being able to call on the able cover provided by Tom Cleverley and Muhamed Besic.
Was their self-proclaimed desire to create a tabula rasa--to wipe the slate clean for the world--part of a techno-utopian beginning or an insidious historical forgetting?
The noise produced when trying to wipe the slate clean with my knife and fork makes fingernails being dragged down a blackboard sound like Whitney Houston.
Basically we have agreed to wipe the slate clean now and the teens are doing gardening jobs to pay back for the damage they have done.
Gary can wipe the slate clean and build his own team.
We managed to pick up in the second but there are a few fundamental things we need to work on - I think we need to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.
The Daily Post can also reveal how in a bid to wipe the slate clean with Mr Gubay and his company Derwent Holdings, Cllr Anderson has ditched Liverpool Council's lingering legal action against the firm.
Summary: <p>Italy's opposition and the largest union attacked Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government on Wednesday over an amnesty that would wipe the slate clean on offences including accounting fraud for money hidden abroad.
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