dirty tricks


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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 ?
He said that the organisation "denounces and strongly condemns" such dirty tricks.
"When there are several candidates with the same last name, first name and patronymic, then, in my opinion, it is quite dirty tricks that are intended to deceive our people and voters" - Mykola Azarov said.
The people of Worcestershire West are entitled to feel aggravated by this underhand dirty trick. Every vote in this tight contest will count and they shouldn't be fiddled by shady attacks on a party leader.
The race for the 2016 Olympics is being viewed as the most intense for years with allegations of dirty tricks being levelled at supporters of the favourites.
The voters don't need any dirty tricks from the Tories, just take a look at the pig's ear Labour is making of the job.
SIR - I sympathise with Peter Hain's concern over dirty tricks aimed at his unsuccessful campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party ('Hain fury at 'dirty tricks',' Western Mail, April 17) It must be very difficult to be the subject of such hostility, presumably from rivals within his own party as this was an internal Labour Party election.
If recent history is any guide, this fall's presidential election will be marred by vote suppression and cynical dirty tricks. Congress still has time to stop some of the worst offenses.
The Government was accused of dirty tricks today after new details emerged of how it plans to hit a controversial MRSA target.
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.
MOAN OF WEEK: Did Chelsea really have to resort to dirty tricks to beat Newcastle United?
It's tempting to indulge in accusations of Diebold conspiracies, dirty tricks, shadowy last-minute cash, and (more accurately) negative Republican attack ads and conservative fear-mongering.
And Susan resorts to dirty tricks in her custody battle.
Out Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy--soon to make his big-screen debut as writer-director of the movie version of Augusten Burroughs's Running With Scissors--will make a somewhat lateral move from a dysfunctional family to the Nixon administration with Dirty Tricks. Based on the play by John Jeter, Tricks looks at the loose lips that fueled the Watergate scandal.
We know that there were plenty of dirty tricks and murky goings-on during the Troubles involving security services.
But Ms Jones, who lost the election with 32.1% of the votes, accused the MP and her team of running a 'dirty tricks' campaign.