After hearing the second colleague in as many days use the term "flush out" to refer to working out a problem or making something more complete, I just gotta say..."It's 'FLESH OUT,' people!!!" As in putting meat on the bones of something.
Having been a writer/editor in the past, stuff like this gets on my nerves. I am in no way error proof, but it especially annoys me when the person, oh, has an air of superiority about them, for example. Of course, you can't point this kind of thing out without seeming like a prig. So, I stay silent, while feeling secretly superior and thinking, "Boy, am I glad I got my liberal arts degree now!" [As an aside, I wish I could get a dollar to apply to my student loan balance every time I correct a business major's writing. Ahem. Not that there aren't perfectly lovely and intelligent business students out there. Don't mind me...I just resent not having made any money.]
In review, you can "flush out" a criminal from his hiding place as the army tried to do with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. You can "flush out" your pipes. You can "flush out" your colon. However, you "flesh out" ideas. Okay? Thanks, I feel better now.
Lovely toilet image from: High Efficiency Toilets