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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

a laundry list of (something)

A very long list of possible options or things that one wants or needs. Primarily heard in UK. The new political coalition has issued a laundry list of demands for the prime minister ahead of the referendum. The agency has created a laundry list of options for consumers looking to resolve their debt.
See also: laundry, list, of

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 ?
Lastly, during its audit, GAO observed that there were six contract employees from Universal who were processing laundry at the VA facility.
Handy rope attachments for handles are strong and durable enough to keep all the family dirty laundry in.
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24 Hour Laundry in Houston, TX, aims to be the local Laundromat of one's choice.
Efforts have also been made to make the laundry as energy efficient as possible.
Additionally, EVI designs, plans, and installs turn-key laundry, dry cleaning, boiler, and water filtration systems and provides maintenance services through its robust technical service organisation.
You can rely on Whirlpool-Maytag Commercial Laundry to work with you in determining the right solutions for your needs.
For sure, an operator would like his customers to be able to do their laundry in a quick and efficient manner, which only reliable washers and dryers can guarantee, he stressed during the recently concluded Laundry Expo held at the SMX complex in Pasay City.
The study also reveals the impact of environmental sustainability and the role of green cleaning products and alternative processes; the role of machinery; and provides end users' perspectives on emerging trends such as Internet of Things (loT), shifts in channels of distribution where laundry chemicals are purchased and fabric/linen trends.
However, after the launch of the initiative, all laundry shops are responsible for preserving clothes and other items for three months.
Johannesburg, South Africa, May 27, 2017 --(PR.com)-- Bidvest Laundry Group offers a solution that could help ease the unique challenges that the hospitality industry faces, including rising costs and the need for environmental compliance.
The laundry room, once tucked away in basements or in unfinished spaces, has now become a room homeowners are eager to improve with organization and decor.
LEADING laundry and linen hire business Afonwen Laundry has announced a major PS4m expansion that will see it opening its fourth laundry facility in May and creating 60 new jobs this year.
Bubble Laundry has opened in Abu Dhabi, offering a cost-effective commercial laundry solution for hoteliers.
HUNDREDS of items were being sent back to the laundry room at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary every day during 2013/14, official figures have revealed.