Clarifying the proper use of Fleshing vs. Flushing Out

A reader recently commented (re the March 10th post):

For at least a decade I have heard people use “flush out” instead of “flesh out.” I don’t think it was a slip of the tongue. I think he things this is the correct phrase.”

I googled it and found, per Merriam Webster, the following.  It’s apparently one of the Top 10 commonly confused words.  It seems that Mr. Sparks of the CED is in good company, at least among the many who are also confused about the proper uses.

It’s apparent that this dam/reservoir plan should, per the examples provided below, be both fleshed and flushed out. 


Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, Vol. 2

#1: Flush Out/Flesh Out


To provide more details, should you flush out or flesh out your plan?


flesh out

How to remember it:

Think of fleshing out a skeleton. To flesh out something is to give it substance, or to make it fuller or more nearly complete.

To flush out something is to cause it to leave a hiding place, e.g., “The birds were flushed out of the tree.” It can also be used figuratively, as in “flush out the truth.”




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s