Dirty Laundry Idiom Meaning, Example, Synonyms

2 minute read

Dirty Laundry idiom means a private matter whose public exposure brings distress and embarrassment. When you criticise someone for talking or debating about uncomfortable or private matters in front of others, you are saying that they are airing their dirty laundry. Other variations of this phrase include washing your dirty clothes in public and washing your dirty linen in public.

Il faut laver son linge sale en family (“One ought to wash one’s dirty linen at home”), a French proverb that Napoleon cited upon his return from Elba in 1815, inspired these metaphors.

Usage with Examples

A few examples of the idiom are:

  • The team’s dirty laundry is not disclosed in public by the captain. 
  • Is it really essential for people to flaunt their dirty laundry in public on social media sometimes?
  • My sister is constantly airing my dirty laundry in front of the public because she is a very envious person.
  •  Unless you swear not to air any of our dirty laundry tonight, I won’t be attending the party.
  • When my father began airing their dirty laundry during brunch, my mother gave him a fairly hard kick under the table.
  • It makes me feel so uncomfortable when our boss uses the lunchroom phone to expose her dirty laundry.

Also Read: Break the Ice- Idiom

Synonyms and Similar Words

Given below are a few synonyms of the idiom:

  • denigration
  • disparagement
  • aspersion
  • calumny
  • depreciation
  • detraction
  • dirt
  • dump
  • dynamite
  • hit
  • knock
  • lie
  • mud

Also Read: Useful Idioms with Examples, Sentences and Meanings

Meaning Quiz

Some people really get satisfaction out of airing their dirty laundry __________.

  • to others and later regretting it.
  • To people
  • To clean.

Answer: to others and later regretting it.

Also Read: Idioms for IELTS

This was all about the Dirty Laundry idiom. Hope you understood the concept where it’s used and what sort of feeling or meaning it conveys. For more such blogs, follow Leverage Edu.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *