1. (orig. US black) to get together, to meet.
|Hi De Ho 32: dig: meet.|
|Really the Blues 4: And it was in Pontiac that I dug that Jim Crow man in person, a motherferyer that would cut your throat for looking.|
|Big Rumble 14: We’ll dig each other if you want to.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 205: It was late one day and I was on my way / to dig my partner Dan.|
2. (US black) to visit.
|Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 21 Feb. 11/1: dig my pad — Go home to my bed.|
|Really the Blues 25: The first place we dug was the De Luxe Café at 35th and State.|
|Corner Boy 11: Let’s dig the happenings at Zodie’s.|
|Big Rumble 92: We’re digging that Youth Board biggie together this aft, reet?|
3. (orig. US black) to appreciate, to enjoy, to love.
|Man About Harlem 3 Oct. [synd. col.] [headline] Digging and Dishing.|
|Rhubarb 19: ‘Dig the Ancient One!’ Myra cried to the rest of the room. ‘Ain’t he lush!’.|
|Mad mag. Nov. 7: When I dig that crazy Caesar I’m stoned even if I’m digging him six feet under!|
|letter 14 Mar. in Leader (2000) 375: I dug your old fiction thing on the wireless and thought he read it as well as could be expected.|
|Hiparama of the Classics 14: Like some studs dig Kennedy, like some Studs dig Nixon.|
|Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 20: I didn’t dig this at all [...] so I asked her what she meant.|
|Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1994) 95: I mean, I dig tits ... but I wouldn’t go out of my way for a pair of tits.|
|Macho Sluts 39: I dig what I do.|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 394: I hate him, but I dig him too.|
|Hip-Hop Connection Jan./Feb. 47: I can see myself doing a lot of other things, but right now I’m still digging it.|
|Jack of Jumps (2007) 207: Mmm, she dug the Jazz Club.|
|Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘Sounds like you really dig her, but you don’t seem upset you’ve broken up’.|
|Life 238: We also knew that the Stones fans were digging it.|
|Finders Keepers (2016) 117: I knew you’d dig it.|
|Widespread Panic 24: ‘[G]et him to admit he digs boys’.|
4. (orig. US black, also dig it) to understand.
|N.Y. Age 16 Dec. 10/1: Do you dig what I mean, my dear, or do must I tell what I know?|
|Really the Blues 6: Something was all puffed up in me, but I couldn’t dig what it was, or give it a name.|
|Absolute Beginners 174: Nobody seemed to dig how dangerous it had been to Dad.|
|Cockade (1965) I iii: Honestly I don’t dig you at all.‘Prisoner and Escort’ in|
|Address: Kings Cross 18: I bought Harper’s Bazaar and Playboy to glance through on the plane because they were so expensive, glossy and chic - a status symbol, if you dig me.|
|Nova Apr. 83: I don’t think many people dig what it’s about. It’s heavy. Really heavy.|
|Brown’s Requiem 70: I just want to die in peace. You can dig that, can’t you?|
|Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 288: Dig this: [...] a Confederate flag hung prominently from the state capitol.|
|Campus Sl. Fall 3: DIG IT – understand.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 157: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Ya dig? Ya heard? Yo mama!|
|Locked Ward (2013) 147: you know? We are in this world at the moment, but not of it. Dig?|
5. (orig. US black) to pay close attention to; also ext. as dig it or dig up.
|Hot News Sept. 20/2: If you listen enough, and dig him enough, you will realise that that [...] riff is the high-spot of the record .|
|🎵 But dig this spiel I’m going to lay on you, gate, / Don’t cop your broom, park the body and wait.‘You Run Your Mouth and I’ll Run My Business’|
|On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 211: I dug the Square for Hunkey, he wasn’t there.|
|Golden Spike 161: Wait by the window and dig the stud I talk to.|
|‘SWAP Dict. Teen-age Sl’ in Ebony Mar. 98/2: Dig up: give me your attention — as in ‘Dig up, man, let’s split this jam (leave this dance).|
|Cross of Lassitude 233: Baby dig yourself [...] you’re pushing that broad too hard ... Lighten up a bit.|
|Snakes (1971) 42: ‘Dig up,’ Champ said finally. ‘Tell you, here’s how I feel about you guys’ music.|
|(con. 1950s) Whoreson 31: You said a pimp ain’t nothing, but dig this.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 43: Dig it, bro [...] That chick’s got some germs they ain’t even discovered yet.|
|(con. 1950s) Slab Boys [film script] 9: Dig the crease in the flannels ... you could dice peaches wi’ them.|
6. (US black, also dig the cat) to discuss, to converse.
|Duke ix: Digging the cat – talk, usually of a wide, loose nature, about everything and anything after smoking marihuana.|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 43: They had both been waiting for the same pusher and they had got to digging the cat. [Ibid.] 44: It was just the sort of stuff you heard. He didn’t know where he’d got it from. Just some cats digging, throwing it around. [Ibid.] 99: Cat was also employed as a verb meaning to talk, while digging the cat meant talking aimlessly or at length.|
7. (orig. US black) to find out, to discover; to interrogate.
|Really the Blues 24: It didn’t take her long to dig where I hung out.|
|Joint (1972) 142: I think I was digging him harder than he was me.letter 6 Aug. in|
|Pulling a Train’ (2012) [ebook] He cursed himself for having dodged out. He knew he should have stayed close and dug the scene with the chicks in the car.‘Sex Gang’ in|
|Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 39: We’re to dig what we can without leaving our friend.|
|Executioner 190: I do not think he was needling me, but I thought he had his spade out again. He was digging.|
|Vinnie Got Blown Away 156: Now don’t get personal Andy, you’re digging me out here.|
8. to believe.
|(con. 1953–7) Violent Gang (1967) 263: Oh, man, you guys still dig all that bullshit [...] I didn’t believe none of it.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 97: Now I don’t dig this play. [...] I’m goin’ up on the cuts and see what the other cats say.|
|Glitter Dome (1982) 213: They charge the cons five dollars a day for room and board and get them jobs to pay back victims and the state! Can you dig it?|
9. to see, to recognize.
|Cornell (University) Daily Sun 10 Oct. 4: I ‘digged this baby,’ when I was a frosh [W&F].|
|Candy (1970) 153: Natch I was hip to the lay the moment I dug his joint.|
|Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 302: I was in a mellow position. Had a joint next to her pad; could dig out the window.‘The Game’ in King|
|Airtight Willie and Me 12: I dug Willie in position to score.|
|Game 161: We didn’t dig the press soon enough.|
10. (orig. US black) to imagine.
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 110: I’m digging maybe you’re fronting now, cool Piri, making like you’re a down stud. Now I ain’t signifying, but I never dug you for a punk.|
(orig. US black) a rhetorical phr. seeking affirmation as a response.
|Indep. Star-News (Pasadena, CA) 6 Jan. Scene 10/3: This book leaves one grasping with strange moral dilemmas [...] See if you can dig it.|
|Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 7: can you dig it – Do you like it; do you know what I mean.|
|(con. 1965-66)Rumor of War 258: ‘We’ll wipe their ass. Can you dig it? Old fuckin’ Luke the Gook’s gonna die’.|
|Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com 🌐 ‘Can you dig it?’ Definition: A request of confirmation that the listener agrees or understands with what the speaker is saying. An appropriate response would be, ‘Right on.’.|
see separate entry.
1. see sense 4 above.
2. see sense 5 above.
1. to like, to appreciate.
|Mr Jive-Ass Nigger 156: Every man wants to be paid for his service [...] but black cats, when it comes to white women, dig on nothing else. I mean it’s the only way they want to relate to the bitches, and they dig it.|
|Onion Field 81: He realized the last time he had danced was when people dug on rhythm and blues [Ibid.] 118: Greg seemed to have only black people for his special friends and [...] dug on freaks.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 234: dig (on one); dig (one’s) action 1. Like, appreciate one’s style, behavior, etc.|
|Down by the River 73: Lyla was moving her head, digging on the music and the night.|
2. to observe, to pay attention to, to watch.
|Serial 56: I can’t even dig on what to wear.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 234: dig (on one); dig (one’s) action [...] 4. Stare at, pay close attention to.|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 37: Let’s take the kids. Let’s dig on history and hot dogs.|
3. to find (sexually) attractive.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 234: dig (on one); dig (one’s) action [...] 2. Be attracted to. [...] 5. Look intently, especially at one of the opposite sex.|
|Sl. U. 68: dig on to like.|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 7: Wayne was horny. Wayne dug on Janice.|
see sense 6 above.
(US black/Harlem) to take a bath every Saturday night.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 53: You dig the dip, Jackson, on the four and two.|
see sense 5 above.
see you later, goodbye.
|‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb, sect. 2: I’LL DIG YOU. – A parting phrase which means you will see a person later.|
|Flash! (Wash., D.C.) 21 Feb. 11/1: dig you — See you later on.|
|Tambourines to Glory II i: I’ll dig you later.|
|Book of Negro Folklore 496: I’m gonna cut out. I’m gonna dig you later.in Hughes & Bontemps|
|Howard Street 43: He doffed his hat to them, enjoying his role. ‘I’ll dig y’all later.’.|
|Faggots 246: Dig you later.|
|(con. 1946) Big Blowdown (1999) 43: Singing along to a Perry Como record — ‘Dig You Later (A Hubba, Hubba, Hubba)’.|
|Portable Promised Land (ms.) 158: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Dig you later. Fuck the dumb. Some next shit. You know this. I’m that guy.|
(US black) goodbye for now, and see you later.
|‘Double Feature’ in N.Y. Age 28 Aug. 7/2: If you’ll pardon [...] the slang, mater...I’ll plant cha now and dig ya later.|
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 24 May 11/2: So we’ll plant you here and dig you later . . . Billy Rowe.|
|in Novels and Stories (1995) 1006: I’ll tell you like the farmer told the potato — plant you now and dig you later.‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in|
|Really the Blues 170: Bye-bye Chicago, you old rockpile of a town. Plant you now and dig you later.|
|Who Live In Shadow (1960) 48: Bye-bye, baby. Plant you now and dig you later.|