Overview

wash


Related Overviews

Pontius Pilate (c. 36 ad) Roman procurator of Judaea

 

'wash' can also refer to...

 
Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

One does not wash one's dirty linen in public proverbial saying, early 19th century; meaning that discreditable matters should be dealt with privately. The French saying ‘c'est en famille, ce n'est pas en publique, qu'on lave son linge sale [one washes one's dirty linen amongst the family, not in public]’ is attributed to Napoleon.

wash one's hands of disclaim responsibility for; the original allusion is to the biblical story of Pontius Pilate who, when he was forced to condemn Jesus, sent for a bowl of water and ritually washed his hands as a sign that he was inncoent of ‘this just person’ (Matthew 27:24). In proverbial usage, the attempt at avoiding guilt is often seen as futile.

See also one hand washes the other.


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.