～から足を洗う wash one's hands of ～
(Kenichi returns home from the grocery store)
Rachel: Did you remember to get the cream cheese?
Kenichi: Oh, no. I forgot. But there's a reason. I ran into an old friend of mine in the dairy section and got too excited.
Rachel: Who did you run into?
Rachel: I've never heard his name.
Kenichi: That's because I've never talked about him before. We were really good friends until junior high school, when he got into a motorbike gang and from there on, he kept getting in trouble with the law. But it seems as though he's washed his feet from that kind of life.
Rachel: That must be a Japanese idiom. Are you telling me that he no longer takes part in criminal activity?
Rachel: Then he washed his hands of that life.
Kenichi: OK, so he washed his hands of that sort of life. He married a former classmate from elementary school, and they have a toddler, both of whom were also there, and another baby is on the way. He now teaches social studies at a junior high school!
Rachel: Sounds like he really turned his life around.
Kenichi: Yeah, I'm so happy for him.
Kobayashi Chikako さんの「英会話 He Said, She Said これって英語で何て言う？」は毎日ウィークリーで毎月第2・4週に掲載中です。