something won't/doesn't wash

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won't wash

Will not stand up to examination, is unconvincing, will not work, as in That excuse about your sick aunt just won't wash. This expression originally alluded to a fabric that would not stand up to washing but by the late 1800s was used figuratively for other kinds of failure.
See also: wash

something won't wash

If an explanation or idea won't wash, it will not be believed or accepted. Mr Aitken might try some such explanation if and when he returns. It won't wash. It won't wash to claim that what we eat is purely a matter of personal responsibility.
See also: something, wash

won't wash

will not be believed or accepted. informal
1998 New Scientist In the end, however, this argument won't wash.
See also: wash

something won’t/doesn’t ˈwash (with somebody)

used to say that somebody’s explanation, excuse, etc. is not valid or that you/somebody else will not accept it: That excuse simply won’t wash with me.
See also: something, wash