soil (one's) hands

(redirected from soil their hands)

soil (one's) hands

To partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. The public can't be allowed to think that I, a senate hopeful, would ever soil my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
See also: hand, soil

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
References in classic literature ?
Lyvern laborers, as a rule, had little objection to soil their hands; they never wore gloves.
Being an agronomist I can say that every crop in the world can be grown in Kerala if Mallus are ready to soil their hands. Today soiling the hands in Kerala is meant only for migrant workers from other states.
that troublesome somebody inside me, grinding his teeth and clenching his fists." The protagonist is torn by the casual cruelty of war: "If someone had to get filthy, let others soil their hands. I couldn't.
Previously the commercial heartland of the old city, it rapidly became the refuge of an ever ageing unappreciated craft group that had educated their children out of their wits and who would never soil their hands on father's trade.
There was a time when the Scottish Labour leadership said they would never "soil their hands" by working with the Tories.
They do your dirty work for you and soil their hands where you are too proud to soil your hands.
"They must choose qualified people of wisdom and reason that do not soil their hands with wickedness and killing."
The Mr Bigs keep clear of involvement in actual crime, leaving it to others to soil their hands.