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Re: The origion of "hang them out to dry"

Posted by Paul G on June 16, 2001

In Reply to: The origion of "hang them out to dry" posted by brad brown on June 12, 2001

: anyone know the origion of "hang them out to dry"

I think there are two likely origins.

One may be from the metaphor of skinning animals and hanging out the carcass and/or skin to dry. As in..

"The idiot thought he caught himself the belle of the ball, but he was the one getting skinned, cleaned, and hung out to dry."

The other may be from the metaphor of clothes washing, especially those old fashioned washing machines that had wringers. As in..

"The roundtable, no doubt, would dull Gore's edge. But either way, Bush has good reason to go into the debates semi-terrified that he'll be run through the wringer and hung out to dry, having seen it happen to his daddy in 1992."