soil(redirected from soils)
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(someone's) native soil
The country or geographical area in which someone was born or raised. Though I've spent most of my adult life in London, it's always nice to return to my native soil of Shanghai, if even for just a few days.
dirty (one's) hands
1. 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 dirty my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
2. To do hard work, often manual labor. There is nothing more rewarding to me than dirtying my hands in my garden.
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.
soil (one's) diaper(s)
To defecate into the diaper one is wearing. Primarily heard in US, Canada. Uh oh, I think Tommy just soiled his diaper. I'd better go change it. I just hope I don't live so long that I end up in some nursing home soiling my diapers.
See also: soil
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.
soil (one's) nappy
To defecate into the nappy (diaper) one is wearing. Primarily heard in UK. Uh oh, I think Tommy just soiled his nappy. I'd better go change it. I just hope I don't live so long that I end up in some nursing home soiling my nappy.
See also: soil
To dig up and turn over soil or some body of soil with or as with a spade. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spade" and "up." You'll want to spade up the flower bed and mix in some fresh compost before sowing the new seeds. The ground was so full of stones and weeds that spading the soil up was an absolute chore.
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.
soil one's diaper(s)
[for a baby] to excrete waste into its diaper. The baby soiled his diapers. I detect that someone has soiled his diaper.
spade something up
to turn over the soil in a garden plot with a spade. Please go out and spade the garden up so I can plant the potatoes and onions. I will spade up the garden when I have time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
dirty one's hands
Also, get one's hands dirty or soil one's hands. Do something shameful or illegal. For example, He refused to dirty his hands and give jobs to the big campaign donors, or Getting one's hands dirty by lying to the boss will be severely punished, or She would not soil her hands by cheating. This expression is a metaphor for literally defiling or soiling oneself. [Mid-1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.