not dirty (one's) hands(redirected from not dirty hands)
not dirty (one's) hands
1. To not partake in dirty, menial, or otherwise unpleasant work, typically because one considers it to be unworthy of their rank or status. I'll not dirty my hands with a peasant's work, I'll have you know!
2. To refuse to partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. I can only reiterate to the public at large that I, as a senate hopeful and a law-abiding citizen, would not dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
not dirty your hands
If someone does not dirty their hands doing something, they avoid doing physical work or an activity that some people consider unpleasant. These people have never had to dirty their hands to earn a living. Very few academics with his reputation are willing to dirty their hands with political activity to the extent that he does. Note: This expression is often used to criticize someone for not getting involved in things. Compare with get your hands dirty.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012