Posted by ESC on November 07, 1999
In Reply to: Sweep your house posted by angie on November 07, 1999
: does the phrase 'sweep your house clean' has any other meaning than the literal?
There's a Bible verse, "Set thine house in order," from II Kings. And I have heard the sentiment, set your own house in order before you criticize someone else.
"A Dictionary of America Proverbs" by Wolfgang Mieder & others has several variations on the "sweep" theme. "Sweep in front of your own door first. Vars.:...Before you call someone else dirty, be sure you sweep your own door...If you want to keep the town clean, sweep before your own door..."