Posted by: Jack Henry | March 24, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Clean Idioms

Some of you may have already gotten a jump-start on your spring-cleaning. If not, don’t worry, here’s a list of clean idioms from Daily Writing Tips to motivate you.

1. clean (one’s) plate: eat all the food served

2. clean (someone’s) clock: beat or defeat soundly

3. clean as a whistle: pure or free of involvement in illegal activities

4. a clean bill of health: notification that a person or entity is in good health or operating condition (from a report from a health official that all crew and passengers on a ship arriving in a port are free of illness)

5. clean break: abrupt and complete disassociation

6. clean code: well-written computer-programming code

7. clean conscience: absence of guilt or remorse (also “clear conscience”)

8. clean cut: tidy and well groomed

9. clean getaway: uninterrupted escape

10. clean house: rid an organization of corruption or inefficiency

11. clean (someone or something) out of: remove people or things

12. clean sheet: variant of “clean slate” (mostly used in British English); alternatively, said of an athlete or team that allows no goals (British English)

13. clean slate: a fresh chance or start (from the now-outmoded use of chalk on slate to record one’s debt at a tavern)

14. clean sweep: the winning of all competitions or prizes

15. clean the floor up (with someone): beat someone up

16. clean up: make something clean or proper, earn or win a lot of money, reform, or defeat

17. clean up (one’s) act: improve or reform

18. clean out: leave bare or empty, or take or deplete

19. come clean: be honest

20-21. have clean hands/keep (one’s) hands clean: be without guilt

22. keep (one’s) nose clean: stay out of trouble

23. make a clean breast of it: admit the truth

24. squeaky clean: completely clean or incorruptible

25. wipe the slate clean: give someone a fresh change or start (see “clean slate”)

Thank you,

Jackie Solano | Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.542.6711 | Extension: 766711

Symitar Documentation Services

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