wash (one's) dirty linen in public

(redirected from washing dirty linen)

wash (one's) dirty linen 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 linen 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 linen in public.
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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Sidewalk dwellers were literally washing dirty linen in public.
Long, long before you turned queen et all but your current run across the airwaves regurgitating personal details of your love life over & over again, washing dirty linen in public & more so as part of a professional PR campaign before your film release is in bad taste.
Which goes to prove that the Joint Opposition is a washing machine, doing nothing but washing dirty linen in public while carrying all the filth and muck on their heads like the proverbial prawn.
The official specifically cited the open competition seen from the ongoing electoral campaigns within the republican party and democrats in the united states as washing dirty linen in public to select the best candidate as an example of flourishing democracy.
RESPECTED soothsayers would always warn about the pitfalls of washing dirty linen in public.
There can be no justification for washing dirty linen in public, more so by the captain, though in this instance there is little evidence to suggest any dirt in the first place.
I don't like washing dirty linen in public, we will keep it between ourselves and look for a response from the riders on Friday - they know I'm not happy and the supporters aren't happy.
Contract award: appointment of a contractor washing dirty linen of the hospital for a year, right unilateral three-month extension to decision d.
Among the intersections of person and topic are Zoe Wicomb on washing dirty linen in public, Don Foster proclaiming that even bodies never speak pure languages, and Pumla Gobodo-Madikizele and Chris van der Merwe on a better past.
There's good competition on the field but I don't have a habit of washing dirty linen away from the field or in public, but I like that name
NEW Labour really have a penchant for washing dirty linen in public.
He is a very private person and didn't want to be washing dirty linen in public.
Back then, football was an even more hypocritical sport than it is now and many turned on Gauld for washing dirty linen in public.
Even for a game with a charge sheet as long as one of Pinetree's arms this is not so much washing dirty linen in public as inviting the neighbours round to show them the stains.
We would hope he publicly backs Ruddock, something he has failed to do yet, and does not start washing dirty linen in public.