Two questions--myself and flush out

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Thu Jun 6 20:27:02 UTC 2002

On Thu, 6 Jun 2002, Towse wrote:

#Ed Keer wrote:
#> The second is the term "flush out" to mean "flesh
#> out".    I heard fairly often at my work, and assumed
#> it was some sort of mispronunciation that's going
#> around. I was very surprised to see it in print in The
#> Ten-Day MBA by Steven Silberger: p. 20 "The following
#> questions help to flush that out."  Any
#> thoughts/history on this one?
#In RL, one directs a stream of water down a small drain pipe at
#high force to get the dead chipmunk out of the pipe and available
#for disposal in the nearest trashcan.

I've seen this fairly often meaning 'to force or frighten out of
hiding'. OED compact edn has flush as vt, 2a: To cause to fly or take
wing; to put up, start; also with _up_. (citations 1450-1888, all
referring to hunting birds).
 2b, transf. and fig.: To reveal; to bring into the open; to drive
_out_. (cits. 1950-71, apparently referring only to persons but unclear
on the 1971)

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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