The first time someone told me they wanted me to “flush” out an idea for an ad, I thought they were telling me to deposit said idea in the porcelain throne, shut the lid and tearfully wave buh-bye as it swirled toward the sanitary sewer.
It didn’t take me long to realize that they really wanted me to “flesh” out my idea, which may sound a little Dexter or Halloweenish, but at least it’s less scatological than flushing it out. Note that I only used that $100 word here because no one will ever let me use it in an ad.
Over the years, I have amassed anecdotal evidence that indicates that between 49 and 58 percent of people in advertising use the word flush when they mean flesh, depending how much they’re into Mad Men and how many times they’ve watched The Crazy Ones.
Before I damage my current and future earning capability in the advertising industry by being an insufferable know-it-all, I will turn over the task of explaining the difference between flesh vs. flush to Merriam-Webster.