dishpan hands

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Possibly coined circa mid-1920s for the advertising of Lever Brothers "Lux" brand dishwashing soap.[1]


dishpan hands pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) Hands which are rough, reddish, and dry, as from irritation and chafing caused by immersion in hot water mixed with detergent.
    • 2007, H. E. Thomas and M. Thomas, "5 Ways to Combat Cold-Weather Hands," Washington Post, 18 Feb. (retrieved 30 July 2009):
      Avoid dishpan hands. Those 1950s sitcom moms had it right (and probably had lovely hands): Wear rubber gloves while cleaning and doing dishes.



  1. ^ See, for example, "No More Dishpan Hands" (advertisement), Milwaukee Journal, 6 April 1927, p. 24.