get dirty your hands

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.


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.

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.

do the dirty on someone

cheat or betray someone - British informal

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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