Hello and welcome to The English We Speak with me Feifei…
…and me, Rob.Hello! Hey Feifei, you know that expression ’to wash your dirty linen in public’?
Yes. The expression ’to wash your dirty linen in public’ describes someone who talks about private matters in public – so everyone can hear them. You wouldn’t catch me doing that!
Nor me –I always keep private matters private -but anyway it’s exactly what Daisy and Tom have been doing.
What? They’ve been washing their dirty linen in public –you mean they’ve been arguing?
Well not exactly –but yesterday, they were out in the garden making lots of noise.
Oh I see.Actually Rob I think…
…and I’m sure Daisy said something about hanging Tom out to dry.
Rob, Rob. There’s a simple explanation. But let’s hear some more examples of this phrase first…
Tim kept discussing his brother’s drinking problem at the pub but I told him not to wash his dirty linen in public.
I know he’s having an affair but do they have to wash their dirty linen in public?
Don’t wash your dirty linen in public, save your argument for when you get home!
So the expression ’to wash your dirty linen in public’ means you discuss private matters in public. But Rob, I don’t think Daisy and Tom were talking about their family problems in the garden.
Well I could hear what was going on.
Are you sure? Because I spoke to Daisy and she said their washing machine had broken downand they were actually washing their clothes outdoors, in the garden. I think the noise was just them having a laugh.
But what about Daisy saying she was going to hang Tom out to dry?
I think she meant she was going to hang Tom’s clothes out to dry. You need to mind your own business and then you won’t hear people washing their dirty linen in public – either literally or metaphorically!
Thanks for the advice Feifei. Bye-bye.