get (one's) hands dirty

(redirected from getting one's hands dirty)

get (one's) hands dirty

1. To do hard work, often manual labor. There is nothing more rewarding to me than getting my hands dirty in my garden. I really appreciate you guys getting your hands dirty and helping us move.
2. To be involved in something illegal or unseemly. Uncle Pete has been avoiding us ever since we discovered that he gets his hands dirty working for the mob. No one can know about my police record—I don't want people to think that I still get my hands dirty.
See also: dirty, get, hand

get your hands dirty

COMMON If you get your hands dirty, you do difficult, dirty or routine work. I never get my hands dirty raising money the hard way. The guys at the top make all the money, while the people actually getting their hands dirty make very little. Compare with not dirty your hands.
See also: dirty, get, hand

get your hands dirty (or dirty your hands)

1 do manual, menial, or other hard work. 2 become directly involved in dishonest or dishonourable activity. informal
1 1998 Spectator Unlike its sister churches in the West, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is not afraid to get its hands dirty.
See also: dirty, get, hand

get your ˈhands dirty

do physical work: He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
See also: dirty, get, hand
References in periodicals archive ?
He immediately adds, however, that this getting one's hands dirty in this way is "often the right thing to do.
The list, which has been compiled by Sunday Times Rich List author Philip Beresford, shows that getting one's hands dirty certainly pays off.
Ultimately, it boils down to good old-fashioned class snobbery towards occupations that involve rolling up one's sleeves and getting one's hands dirty.
It is about acknowledging the negative as well as the positive and being unafraid of getting one's hands dirty.
For me, it is an art very much based on information and research, without getting one's hands dirty, whereas the generation of artists that I feel close to tends to work in three dimensions, or at least in more physical ways.
What a marvelous symbol those gloves are, an expression of the wearer's desire to insulate himself or herself from the mundane aspects of one's profession, to avoid getting one's hands dirty.