Recent conversation with co-worker:
Me: This has been a great brainstorming. I’m going to go back to my desk and flush out some of these ideas.
She: Sounds good. Wait. Did you just say ‘flush out’….that always makes me think of a toilet. Ewww…I’m pretty sure you meant ‘flesh out’.
Me: ‘Flesh out’? No. I don’t think so. That makes me think of a deer carcass that someone is skinning. I’ll take the toilet image over mangling Bambi any day.
So what’s the correct answer?
Here, here, and here, indicate that flush out means to “bring something that is hidden to the surface” (search this term on Google and you’ll find all sorts of strange references from hunting to earwax.)
Here’s some rationale for using “flush out” for specific writing tasks (because I simply can’t concede that I’m wrong):
As a copywriter, my job is to go through a big thick creative brief, brainstorm 50+ ideas, and then bring the best parts to the surface so the message is no longer hidden among the rest of the unecessary details. Therefore, I “flush out” the concept.
Totally up for debate. What do you think?