Interesting, in norwegian you "wash up", but in Dutch, we "wash down" (afwassen). :D
In German it works both ways :D
"abwaschen" (wash down)
"aufwaschen" (wasch up)
I translated this as "First, we must wash up" and it counted it right, but to my American ears, that's completely different than "First, we need to do the dishes".
I found the meaning "clean crockery and cutlery after use" for "wash up" in the dictionary, but it was marked chiefly British.
Hmm, that's mildly problematic, because at least in Southern American English, 'wash up' means to 'quickly and lightly clean oneself, usually before dinner.' Two different things are being washed at two different times around the meal.
As a Midwesterner, "wash up" implies cleaning yourself before dinner. It rarely implies doing the dishes.
Yes, same here. "Wash up" seems to be an English idiom. We just "do the dishes".
British English definitely uses "wash up" to mean clean the dishes. Hence dish detergent is called "washing up liquid".
In Australia we use "wash up" as well but we call the soap dishwashing liquid.
In the discussion for a related sentence I pointed out the same thing and was told that vaske opp could mean to wash oneself, but it's less common. It would be great to hear a native speaker's input.
I have heard the phrase "to do the washing-up" for doing the dishes... And "washing-up liquid" for dish washing soap.
I often use them interchangeably.
I'm American. This seems perfectly fine to me.