get (one's) hands dirty

(redirected from getting their 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

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

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

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

get your ˈhands dirty

do physical work: He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
See also: dirty, get, hand
References in periodicals archive ?
The cleaner that does the work prides themselves by getting their hands dirty if something needs special needs such as hand washing so their customers don't have to.
CHILDREN are getting their hands dirty to help bring colour to their community.
Pegging these and other friendly bacteria might let researchers get at the goods without getting their hands dirty.
CHALLENGING students at a school are improving their behaviour and getting their hands dirty thanks to an innovative project with the Royal Horticultural Society.
BLUE Peter gardener Chris Collins is ramping up his mission to get children excited about getting their hands dirty with a brand new range of gardening kits.
It's good to see people getting their hands dirty for charity.
A team of apprentices and trainees from construction firm Mansell have been getting their hands dirty cleaning up a school pond.
Four to 12-year-olds have been letting their imaginations run wild with mythical map making, designing fantasy creatures, having a go at a bit of hocus pocus and getting their hands dirty at the green balloon club
The television celebrity proved a smash hit with the children who are all now looking forward to getting their hands dirty in the school garden.
Researchers found many dads spent less than an hour with their kids each day - and want to play instead of getting their hands dirty.
It was once the refuge of high school students who weren't headed to college; for the kids who didn't excel at academics or preferred getting their hands dirty.
Generations X & Y have no interest in getting their hands dirty from cheap ink, which is 99.
To them, the San Fernando Valley is still the breadbasket of Los Angeles, and there's plenty of opportunity for anyone who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty.
PEOPLE throughout Nuneaton and Bedworth are being urged to take personal pride in their community by getting their hands dirty.
We have shot ourselves in the foot," Gignac says, "because we have raised our children to be adverse to getting their hands dirty.
Full browser ?