dirty work at the crossroads, Idioms and Phrases, Idioms, Phrases

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dirty work at the crossroads

dirty work at the crossroads

illicit or underhand dealing – humorous

This expression is recorded from the early 20th century and may reflect the fact that crossroads, the traditional burial site for people who had committed suicide, were j once viewed as sinister places.

1914 - P. G. Wodehouse - The Man Upstairs – A conviction began to steal over him that some game was afoot which he did not understand, that - in a word - there was dirty work at the crossroads.


the dirty end of the stick

the difficult or unpleasant part of a task or situation – informal

2000 - Sunday Times : Johannesburg - I still feel a bit sorry for Hugh, he always seems to get the dirty end of the stick.

do the dirty on someone

cheat or betray someone - British informal

get your hands dirty = get dirty your hands

do manual, menial or other hard work

become directly involved in dishonest or dishonorable activity – informal

1998 - Spectator - Unlike its sister churches in the West, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is not afraid to get its hands dirty.

play dirty

act in a dishonest or unfair way - Informal

talk dirty

speak about sex in a way considered to be coarse or obscene – informal

wash your dirty linen in public

discuss or argue about your personal affairs in public

This expression dates from the early 19th century in English.

A similar French expression about linge sale is attributed to Napoleon.

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