dirty (one's) hands

(redirected from dirty my hands)

dirty (one's) hands

1. To partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. The public can't be allowed to think that I, a senate hopeful, would ever dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
2. To do hard work, often manual labor. There is nothing more rewarding to me than dirtying my hands in my garden.
See also: dirty, hand

get one's hands dirty and dirty one's hands; soil one's hands

 
1. Fig. to get closely involved in a difficult task. You have to get your hands dirty if you expect to get the gutters cleaned out.
2. Fig. to become involved with something illegal; to do a shameful thing; to do something that is beneath one. The mayor would never get his hands dirty by giving away political favors. I will not dirty my hands by breaking the law.
See also: and, dirty, get, hand, soil

dirty one's hands

Also, get one's hands dirty or soil one's hands. Do something shameful or illegal. For example, He refused to dirty his hands and give jobs to the big campaign donors, or Getting one's hands dirty by lying to the boss will be severely punished, or She would not soil her hands by cheating. This expression is a metaphor for literally defiling or soiling oneself. [Mid-1600s]
See also: dirty, hand
References in classic literature ?
"I'll get even with you without needing to dirty my hands," said his enemy.
And then I said, I will not dirty my hands with money in politics.
But he said: "Do you But he said: "Do you think I would dirty my think I would dirty my hands for 220 dollars?
" Asked for the identity of the person he sold the tickets to, Grondona junior added: "I cannot tell you, but do you think I would dirty my hands for 220 dollars (PS128)?e truth is I have no idea where these tickets went to."
Every moment of unsponsored recognition calls me to return to the uninspired world, to continue the daily routine of invention and observation, to dirty my hands in whatever work my hands can do.