get (one's) hands dirty(redirected from get hands dirty)
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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.
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.
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.
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.