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do someone's dirty work

Meaning: If you do someone's dirty work for them, you do something unpleasant for them because they don't want to do it for themselves.

For example:

  • Whenever he wants somebody fired, my boss asks me to tell them. I'm sick of doing his dirty work for him, but if I refuse he'll ask someone else to tell me I'm fired.

  • One of the good things about being promoted is that you can tell someone below you do your dirty work for you.

Quick Quiz:

I read this article today that says if the leader of a country starts a war, they should do their own dirty work and
  1. fight alongside their soldiers
  2. tell the military what to do
  3. wash their hands of the decision

Discuss: do someone's dirty work

Idiom of the Day

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