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

clean slate, have a/start with a

A fresh chance after past debts or offenses have been canceled or forgiven. A nineteenth-century term, it comes from the schoolroom and tavern, where slate blackboards and chalk were used for exercises and totting up bills (see also chalk it up to). Mistakes and debts so recorded could literally be erased. It may have been a translation of the earlier Latin tabula rasa (“scraped tablet”), on which anything could be inscribed. By the second half of the nineteenth century the term was transferred to mean making any kind of fresh start. Another version of the term is to wipe the slate clean (so as to obtain a clean slate). As Rudyard Kipling wrote about The Absent-Minded Beggar (1900), “He’s out on active service, wiping something off a slate.”
See also: clean, have, start
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.
"It is time to wipe the slate clean and bin these disgraceful contracts right now.
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?
So when last Saturday, at High Noon, Jeremy Corbyn gave his own particular Sermon on the Mount, beckoned his lost sheep to return to the fold and promised to "wipe the slate clean" (very JC, that), my instincts smiled and nodded and suggested that, within 10 months, 90% of Labour MPs will again become lost sheep.
Much could depend on whether Mr Corbyn is serious in his pledge to "wipe the slate clean" with his opponents.
"There will be no split in the Labour Party and I would suggest to anyone who wants a split that it is the wrong way to go." The Edinburgh South MP called on the leader to make good on the promise to "wipe the slate clean" from the bitter division caused by the contest - by accepting elections to the Shadow Cabinet.
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?
Wipe slate clean for most youth crime PARLIAMENT is shortly to consider a plan to "Wipe the slate clean" at 18 for offenders.
Instead ' The noise produced when trying to wipe the slate clean makes fingernails being dragged down a blackboard sound like Whitney Houston
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