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dig up dirt

This page is about the idiom dig up dirt.

Meaning: If you dig up dirt on someone, you try to find details from their past to make them look bad in the present.

For example:

  • Many politicians pay people to dig up dirt on their opponents, and then pass the information to the media.

  • Very few of our leaders come from disadvantaged backgrounds because it's so easy to dig up dirt on them or their family members.

Note: We can also say "dig up the dirt", "dig the dirt up" and "dig the dirt", all of which have the same meaning.

Quick Quiz:

A journalist is digging up dirt on a politician in order to

a. help the politician's campaign

b. damage the politician's image

c. increase the politician's popularity

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey