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All washed up...

Posted by ESC on June 11, 2003

In Reply to: All washed up... posted by S. Ryan on June 11, 2003

: Any ideas on the origin of "all washed up?"

I was thinking that it might be sports-related -- like being sent to the showers. But one reference says:

ALL WASHED UP - "At the end of a day's work a factory worker usually washes his hands. From the motion of washing hands after finishing a job came the expression 'all washed up,' finished with anything, which led to its later meaning of a business failure, finished with everything, or anything that has become obsolete and unfashionable. The expression dates back to the early 1920s." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).