Here we are with a new and fresh idiom! Have fun!

 

Summary

When an idea is unconvincing and won’t work, why do you need washing powder?! The answer is you don’t – but there is a washing-related phrase you can use. But Feifei has still brought some to the studio for this programme. Will she need it? Listen to The English We Speak to find out.

Transcript

Neil
Hello, I’m Neil… 

Feifei
… and I’m Feifei and this is The English We Speak.

Neil
What’s in that bag, Feifei?

Feifei
Oh this – it’s a box of the best washing powder there is – Dazzlebright non-bio washing powder!

Neil
And why will I need that?

Feifei
Well, at the meeting earlier – when John suggested we all wore suits to work – you said his idea won’t wash with the team – so here’s some washing powder to help you make it wash.

Neil
It’s a kind thought – but I won’t need it. When I said it won’t wash I meant his idea is unconvincing and won’t work.

Feifei
Ah – So you don’t need my washing powder then?

Neil
No thanks. You see, this phrase originally referred to fabrics that were not good quality and wouldn’t last long when they were washed. But now it’s about someone’s idea or suggestion not lasting very long because people won’t believe it or accept it.

Let’s hear some examples…

Examples

Your excuses for not finishing your essay won’t wash with me – you’ve missed your deadline and that’s that.

The boss’s idea to work an extra hour everyday won’t wash with the team – they’ll be furious.

Just saying you’ve got a cold won’t wash with your fans – they’ve paid a lot of money to come and see you perform.

Feifei
That’s the expression it won’t wash which really means it won’t work – or nobody will believe you. Of course, I do know this phrase Neil.

Neil
So why did you bring in the washing powder?

Feifei
Well I know how scruffy our team members are – and if we do have to start wearing suits, they will all need a good wash. Erm, did you have curry last night?

Neil
Yeah – why do you ask?

Feifei
There’s a big yellow stain on your jumper – just there. Here, why not test out use my Dazzlebright washing powder – ‘it makes your old clothes look like new!’

Neil
Hmm, thanks.

Both
Bye.