Posted by Sauerkraut on July 13, 2001
In Reply to: Hang 'em out posted by James Briggs on June 14, 2001
: : : : : : : : anyone know the origion of "hang them out to dry"
: : : : : : : Hanging clothes outside on a clothes line in the days before electric dryers.
: : : : : : I'm having a hard time with the idea that there's anybody over age three who's never seen a clothesline.
: : : : : That's true. But clothes lines may make a comeback. There was discussion about clothes lines in connection with the California energy crisis. Some communities now ban clothes lines because they spoil the "look."
: : : : No doubt those communities would ban my clothes for the same reason.
: : : Nonsense. You look just fine. I don't know about those shoes, though....
: : Your uncertainty is understandable: I'm barefoot.
: One of my Californian friends said that she had a solar powered clothes dryer. I was very impressed until she said 'It's called a clothes line!'
This phrase has also been used to describe exposing a person for what he or she really is. In the days before clothes dryers, all of one's laundry was hung out to dry - thus allowing one's neighbors to see the holes, frayed edges, etc.
In fact, many housewives would cover their more intimate apparel with a sheet so nosy neighbors wouln't see these items.