dirty trick

(redirected from a dirty trick)

dirty trick

An action used for one's benefit that is unethical or dishonest. Every election cycle, the competing candidates always accuse each other of dirty tricks. I really wish you had been honest with me from the start about causing damage to my car. Blaming the neighbor was a real dirty trick.
See also: dirty, trick

dirty tricks

Undercover or clandestine operations and deceitful stratagems in politics and espionage. For example, This campaign has been dominated by the dirty tricks of both sides. The adjective dirty here is used in the sense of "unethical" or "unfair." The term originally was applied to covert intelligence operations carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose planning directorate was nicknamed "department of dirty tricks." It later was extended to underhanded activity intended to undermine political opponents and commercial rivals. [1940s]
See also: dirty, trick

dirty tricks

Covert, deceitful, and damaging policies and actions. The term dates from the later 1600s and was long used simply to describe a nasty action, as in “When no one was looking Jim grabbed the last decent sleeping bag; that was a dirty trick.” However, it acquired a new meaning during the 1960s when it was applied to the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was even called “Department of Dirty Tricks” for some of its propaganda and secret interventions in other countries’ affairs. In the 1970s it began to be applied to the unethical and even illegal tactics of political campaigns, such as smearing an opponent with false accusations, illicitly using campaign funds, and the like.
See also: dirty, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
Or is the truth that this is just a cash cow, and Stockfield Road nothing more than a dirty trick to rob the motorists of Birmingham?
Catching someone off guard is no more than a dirty trick. There was a lot of fuss over nothing, from what I read.
But the circulation of accurate material about another candidate is not a dirty trick even if it is on videotape.
He must wonder if it's all a dirty trick designed to spike his chances of ever leading the Tories out of the pit.
This is a dirty trick and shows how terrified Labour is that I will win.'
They have claimed our story was part of a dirty tricks campaign designed to discredit the politician behind the police investigation into the cash-for-honours affair.
``This desperate threat of a dirty tricks smear campaign is laughable, '' said SU spokesman Oliver Houston.
'This desperate threat of a dirty tricks smear campaign is laughable,' said SU spokesmen Oliver Houston.
FORMER US ambassador to Ireland Richard Egan has been accused of taking part in a dirty tricks campaign to scupper John Kerry's bid for the White House.
THE WELSH Assembly Government has denied a dirty tricks campaign against trustees at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
WEST HAM manager Glenn Roeder is fighting a dirty tricks campaign that is undermining his battle to survive.
"Coventry is not the dirtiest city in the UK and one is bound to wonder if this is a dirty tricks campaign to try to undermine our bid."
THE Tories are planning a dirty tricks campaign in the run-up to the general election.
CHESHIRE County Council has been accused of waging a dirty tricks campaign in the war for survival in the local government shake -up.
Full browser ?