not dirty your hands

(redirected from dirtied his hands)

not dirty your hands

1. To refuse to do or partake in dirty, menial, or otherwise unpleasant work, typically because one considers it to be beneath their rank or status. I'll not dirty my hands with a peasant's work, I'll have you know!
2. To refuse to partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. I can only reiterate to the public at large that I, as a senate hopeful and a law-abiding citizen, would never dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
See also: dirty, hand, not

not dirty your hands

If someone does not dirty their hands doing something, they avoid doing physical work or an activity that some people consider unpleasant. These people have never had to dirty their hands to earn a living. Very few academics with his reputation are willing to dirty their hands with political activity to the extent that he does. Note: This expression is often used to criticize someone for not getting involved in things. Compare with get your hands dirty.
See also: dirty, hand, not
References in periodicals archive ?
Our heroic police officers risk their lives to help others but I doubt David Cameron has ever dirtied his hands to help anyone.
She had hung some underwear on a machine to wipe her hands, and as a consequence the man himself dirtied his hands, I told her she should have kept them as they would have been worth something at an auction.
Another said Canteralla's resignation could signify a shift in Fiat's long-term strategy that went against the grain for its former chief executive, who first dirtied his hands at Fiat's components unit 25 years ago.
Unlike some other Senate liberals who have a whiff of Chardonnay about them, Wellstone dirtied his hands for years in Minnesota organizing workers and the rural poor, and even getting himself arrested while trying to prevent a bank foreclosure on a small farm.