We have all heard the word wash, haven’t we? All of us need a wash every now and then, don’t we? And we also have heard quite a few words which are based on the simple letter combination, wash. The ones that come to mind are: which represents a complete failure (that failure can be an act or person) or a  dishwasher: well, do I need to explain what this is a dishwasher?

These are simple words that are present in our everyday lives. But you want more than this simplicity, don’t you? Well, we get that with the following list of words:

  1. whitewash
  2. blackwash
  3. greenwash
  4. hogwash
  5. brainwash

You might have heard whitewash (it’s simple reference is to the wash consisting of lime and water that is used for whitening walls and other surfaces). Other than simply washing the surfaces, this word is also used in sports, when one team completely blanks out the other. But wait, the story does not end here. There is another usage for the word: when we whitewash the crimes of a person, what we are doing is actually covering up those faults with a layer of our special deception paint, one which conceals the crimes and misdemeanors of others.

The second wash-word I pick is GREENWASH. This is a derivative word of whitewash, and is used in contexts where companies fake environmental concerns. The Wikipedia page for the term has this to say about it:

Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on “whitewash”), or “green sheen,” is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims and/or policies are environmentally friendly. Evidence that an organization is greenwashing often comes from pointing out the spending differences: When significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being “green” (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices. Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly.

Now this is deceptive white-washing, isn’t it?

Wait, no, it does not end there. You can not only wash someone with white or green but you can do so with BLACK as well. Blackwash, as the sentiment of the word implies, refers to an attack on someone’s reputation, the kinds in which you cover that person with soot and grime. Scary eh? Has someone ever blackwashed you? I sincerely hope no. But I am sure that someone would have made an attempt to brainwash you. Yeah, you heard me right: brainwash, that is wash your brain with ideas, thoughts, and agendas of one’s own in order to persuade you. Clever marketers do this all the time, don’t they? And in the process they do deliver a lot of hogwash, that is worthless or ridiculous talk that makes no sense what so ever.

Ah, wait, am I beginning to deliver some hogwash of my own here? I should not do that, definitely not. Well, I end with my ‘wash-words’ here, and hope you enjoyed reading these words. I had a lot of fun collecting ‘wash’ related words and in case you have any such ideas that you want me to explore, drop a mail on admin@wordpandit.com.


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