get (one's) hands dirty

(redirected from gets his hands dirty)

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.
See also: dirty, get, hand
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: dirty, get, hand
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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.
See also: dirty, get, hand
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

get your ˈhands dirty

do physical work: He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
See also: dirty, get, hand
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
But now Clr Cooper, who represents the Green party for Newsome ward, has shown in the best possible way that he gets his hands dirty by cleaning the Berry Brow sign.
Dave indulges his passion for the past - and gets his hands dirty - as he helps restore buildings that were constructed hundreds of years ago.
Helen knows the main problem they're facing is that Mason never gets his hands dirty.
The Welsh comic gets his hands dirty starting off as a waste refuse collector - also known as a bin man - in Barry, emptying rubbish.
The Environment Secretary ( whose experience before entering Parliament involved political research and heading Tony Blair's Downing Street policy unit ( is to be filmed as he gets his hands dirty, helping out at a recycling plant.
DRAMA Organ finder McCALLUM: John Hannah gets his hands dirty in the concluding part of last week's stomach churning story.
HOW'S J HAT John Gormley and Lucinda Creighton GRAND J JOB Environment Minister John Gormley gets his hands dirty at Dublin's Grand Canal yesterday HELPER 3Little Julia O'Callaghan, 6, from Dublin lends a hand yesterday