Wordy Wednesday: Flesh Out, Flush Out?


It’s only the difference of a single vowel — e vs. u.

But the difference in  meaning is huge!

In many cases, it’s “flush out” that is misused. For example, someone might say “Charles needs to flush out the third chapter of his manuscript” when they really mean  “flesh out.”

“Flesh out” means to give something substance. In other words, you want to add more details or clarify the meaning — to “flesh out” a proposal or idea.

“Flush out” is used to describe forcing someone or something out of hiding or to clean something (usually by forcing water through a container). You might “flush out the birds” from a field or “flush out the paper clogging the sink.”

See how easy it is for me to simplify your speech!

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