dirty work


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dirty work

 
1. Fig. unpleasant or uninteresting work. My boss does all the traveling. I get all the dirty work to do. She's tired of doing all the dirty work at the office.
2. Fig. dishonest or underhanded actions; treachery. She knew there was some dirty work going on when she saw her opponents whispering together. The company seems respectable enough, but there's a lot of dirty work that goes on.
See also: dirty, work

dirty work

An unpleasant, distasteful, or thankless task or job. For example, Jane complained that she had to do all the dirty work while her colleagues took long vacations . [First half of 1900s]
See also: dirty, work

dirty work

1. n. menial work; hard work. Why do I always get stuck with the dirty work?
2. n. sneaky activities. I hear that Sam is up to his old dirty work again.
See also: dirty, work
References in classic literature ?
Here I was, doing dirty work for three men that I looked down upon, and one of whom, at least, should have hung upon a gallows; that was for the present; and as for the future, I could only see myself slaving alongside of negroes in the tobacco fields.
Dirty work, dirty work," Billy muttered over and over; and, though he saw much that occurred, assisted by the friendly Irishman he was coolly and safely working Saxon back out of the melee.
It was rather dirty work, but it was a great delight to them.
He looked back rapidly, looked down the avenue of a squalid and unlovely life, saw himself the child of drink-sodden and brutal parents, remembered the Board School with its unlovely surroundings, his struggles at a dreary trade, his running away and the fierce draughts of delight which the joy and freedom of the sea had brought to him on the morning when he had crept on deck, a stowaway, to be lashed with every rope-end and to do the dirty work of every one.
Somebody's got to do the dirty work, and it might as well be you.
I've waited on you hand and foot, done dirty work for you, put up with your ill-humours and your tyranny, and never grumbled.
All you have done is to make murder easy for others; to get others to do the dirty work, and then shelter them and share the gain; all you need have on your conscience is every ife that was lost with the Lady Jermyn, and every soul that lost itself in losing them.
Of course I've taken the profits from the gouging and, thanks to you, gentlemen, without having personally to do the dirty work.
Of certain other achievements it would be going too far to say that he was ashamed of them for Newman had never had a stomach for dirty work.
A conviction began to steal over him that in some way he was being played with, that some game was afoot which he did not understand, that--in a word--there was dirty work at the cross-roads.
There's something in that," said he, "although I do congratulate the insurance people on getting a man of your class to do their dirty work.
Pullet's front-door mats were by no means intended to wipe shoes on; the very scraper had a deputy to do its dirty work.
She used to get stuck in and do the dirty work like scrubbing the decks and bilges and she enjoyed a drink or two with us after our work was done for the day.
It takes some fans and journalists a long time to appreciate that if the dirty work is not done well then a team's football begins to stink.
Mr Wright, of Boston, Lincs, added: "If they want them killed they should do their dirty work themselves.