dig up

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dig up

1. verb Literally, to overturn soil or a similar substance by digging. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." The dog keeps burying bones and then digs up the yard to try to find them.
2. verb To unearth or uproot something by digging. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." That darn groundhog has dug up my herb garden for the second year in a row.
3. verb To search for and find something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." If you give me some time, I'm sure I can dig up the deed to the house.
4. verb To uncover negative information about someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dig" and "up." Once I contact my usual sources at the tabloids, I should be able to dig up some dirt on that actress.
5. slang, expression Listen! Hey, the boss is talking—dig up!
See also: dig, up

dig someone or something up

Fig. to go to great effort to find someone or something. (There is an implication that the thing or person dug up is not the most desirable, but is all that could be found.) Mary dug a date up for the dance next Friday. I dug up a recipe for roast pork with pineapple. I dug up a carpenter who doesn't charge very much.
See also: dig, up

Dig up!

Sl. Listen carefully! John: All right, you guys! Dig up! You're going to hear this one time and one time only! Bill: Dig up! I'm only going to say this once. Bob: What was that? Bill: I said listen!
See also: dig

dig up

1. Search out, find, obtain, as in I'm sure I can dig up a few more supporters. [Mid-1800s]
2. dig up some dirt or the dirt . Find derogatory information about someone or something. For example, The editor assigned him to dig up all the dirt on the candidates. The slangy use of the noun dirt for "embarrassing or scandalous information" dates from about 1840, but this metaphoric expression is a century newer.
See also: dig, up

dig up

v.
1. To unearth or expose and gain access to something by digging: The scientists dug up a dinosaur fossil. The landscapers dug the tree up and replanted it.
2. To scatter earth, snow, or another substance on some surface by digging into it: The woodchucks dug up my lawn last night.
3. To discover or find something through concerted effort: I dug up some old photos that were in the back of my closet. The detective intended to dig the truth up.
See also: dig, up

Dig up!

exclam. Listen up!; Pay attention! Dig up, man! This is important.
See also: dig
References in classic literature ?
Then he imparted to the pan a deft circular motion that sent the water sluicing in and out through the dirt and gravel.
He must bring nothing outside; we will go in -- in among the dirt, and possibly other repulsive things, -- and take the food with the household, and after the fashion of the house, and all on equal terms, except the man be of the serf class; and finally, there will be no ewer and no napkin, whether he be serf or free.
Pullet began to give elaborate directions to Sally how to guard the premises from serious injury in the course of removing the dirt.
Pocket, Junior's, idea of Shortly was not mine, for I had nearly maddened myself with looking out for half an hour, and had written my name with my finger several times in the dirt of every pane in the window, before I heard footsteps on the stairs.
When it comes to a knowledge of the law, of how best to evade the law or make new law for the benefit of thieving corporations, I am down in the dirt at your feet.
Those naughty boys," she sobbed, "have thrown the dirt all over me, and called me a little raga-- raga--"
We went forward and examined the place and saw the long tracks which her feet had made in the dirt when they darted over the verge.
And, as she stood in the doorway a moment later, her eyes taking in one by one, the murky windows, the dirty floor, the unwashed dishes, the tumbled bed, the rusty, grease bespattered stove choked with cold ashes, she told herself hotly that it was not the dirt nor even the desperate crassness that was smothering her joy.
It was of small dimensions, with a peaked cottage roof, and not much else to be seen, the dirt being raised five feet all around as if it were a compost heap.
Haley, accustomed to strike the balance of probabilities between lies of greater or lesser magnitude, thought that it lay in favor of the dirt road aforesaid.
Coolly she had squatted on her hams, spat on his arm, and with her finger-tips scrubbed away the dirt of days and nights of muck and jungle that sullied the pristine whiteness of his skin.
Crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud, and threatening to fall into it--as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations; every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament the banks of Folly Ditch.
So saying, he threw away the rubbish, and after having washed his nets clean of the dirt, he threw them for the third time.
He smelt the awful odor, saw the dirt, disorder, and miserable condition, and heard the groans, and felt that nothing could be done to help.
There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs.