Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dirty adj.

1. corrupt; morally unsound.

[UK]J. Bale Comedye Concernyng Three Lawes (1550) Ciii: What wylte thou fall to mutton? [...] Rank loue is full of heate where hungrye dogges lacke meate, They wyll durty puddynges eate For want of befe and conye.
[UK]J. Shirley School of Complement V ii: Away you durty queane.
[UK]W. Cartwright Ordinary IV i: They all employed in making Mrs. Mahomet / New gowns against the time; hang dirty wealth.
[UK]Scots Mag. 6 June 39/1: He has dissipated long ago, and subsisted [...] on pensions from the Duke of N— and others, for doing their dirty work.
[UK]H. Brooke Fool of Quality II 200: My good boys, cries he aloud, you had the Honour to refuse to Quarrel and Tear your Companions and Friends to Pieces, for the dirty Matter of a few Sixpences, and the first Part of your Reward shall be many sixpences.
[US]H.B. Fearon Sketches of America 208: One remark made by a leading grumbler [...] ‘Curse the country; it would be a good country enough if it was free from dirty, cheating Yankies’.
[Ire]Tom and Jerry; Musical Extravaganza II iv: A third of a daffy, which I took vid dirty Suke, as I vished to be nutty upon her.
[UK]Belfast News Ltr 4 Feb. 4/2: How could a pross-sarver be a rogue, you dirty savage?
[UK] ‘Tear Duff Billy’ Ri-tum Ti-tum Songster 17: Then a dirty pullet, next, / My hungry tail did ravish.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 371/2: Some of these ‘ornaments’ sold ‘on the sly’ can hardly be called obscene, but they are dirty, and cannot be further described.
[UK]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 4 Aug. 7/4: You’d turn informer, would you? Then take yer dirty money, and get lodgings somewhere else.
[US]Ranch (N. Yakima, WA) 23 June 4/3: Any man who moved a muscle after hs eight hours was a dirty scab.
[UK]Western Mail 26 Sept. 50/3: ‘’Oo are you callin’ a dirty tyke?’.
[US]Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 10 Mar. 56/4: ‘I’m waiting to see what dirty game Conover will play’.
[UK]Eve. Standard (Ogden City, UT) 6 Sept. n.p.: Dirty Big Business and Corrupt Politics have combined to beat Theodore Roosevelt.
[UK]Mark Sheridan ‘Belgium Put the Kybosh on the Kaiser’ [lyrics] Naughty nights at Liège / Quite upset this Dirty Dick.
[Aus]M. Garahan Stiffs 61: You vant dirty poss card?
[US]Du Bose Heyward Porgy (1945) 92: Yuh damn, dirty, dope-peddler, wreckin’ de homes ob dese happy niggers!
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 46: He had taken Captain Emilio Gomez into his house as a Spanish gentleman. The fellow had turned out to be nothing but a Dirty Dago.
[UK]Whizzbang Comics 11: Out of sight round a corner he hands over quite a wad of bribery and gives his dirty orders.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 167: His right-hand man in these dirty schemes is none other than the union bloke, who [...] is makin’ dirty deals with the bosses. [Ibid.] 172: There were meetings and picket lines and the scabs. [...] Scab, it was the dirtiest word an Australian ever used.
[Aus]E. Lambert Long White Night 95: Shut your dirty trap!
[US]J. Hersey Algiers Motel Incident 183: I knew boxing was a dirty racket. I used to tell him, ‘It’s the dirtiest racket in the world.’ It’s not what you know in boxing, it’s who you know.
[UK]M. Harris The Dilly Boys 45: Peter said that he felt he had a need to spend the money he earned as a prostitute as quickly as possible because he looked upon it as ‘dirty money’.
[US]R.D. Pharr S.R.O. (1998) 252: ‘As dirty as Red Mike is, his own mother wouldn’t trust him with ten cents’.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘It Never Rains’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] You dirty little mercenary!
[US]P. Corris ‘Marriages Are Made in Heaven’ in Heroin Annie [e-book] I wanted to tell her that Short was vermin, that he’d used her to make dirty money and probably would again.
[UK]C. McPherson The Weir 71: Has about fifteen fucking kids. Dirty bollocks.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Grave Doubt’ Destination: Morgue! (2004) 81: He queried a dope line. He hit positive. Lambert was dirty [...] Lambert was dealing.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 87: Dirty cop did hold a certain mystique. But he hadn’t been dirty.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 17: I turn up dirty cops [...] I turn up cops in bed with the mob [Ibid.] 85: He’s making dirty money from a dirty business.
[Aus] A. Prentice ‘The Break’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] The man was dirty, Matt just couldn’t get enough to nail him.
[US]D. Winslow Border [ebook] [I]t would only take one actually dirty fed to slip a word to the Italians or to Darnell to get him killed.

2. having money, funds.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 82: I commenced owin’ money to that hotel before I got off the train. They cleaned me in two days, but then [...] I was n’t very dirty when I landed.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Champion’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 123: Your wife’s starvin’ to death and your baby’s starvin’ to death [...] And you’re dirty with money.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Zigzags of Treachery’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 110: ‘How are you fixed?’ ‘I have been dirtier.’ Dirty is Pacific Coast argot for prosperous.
[US]A. Bontemps God Sends Sun. 22: I’m jes’ dirty wid money [...] I got greenbacks on me worser ’n a dog got fleas. [Ibid.] 57: ‘They tells me yo pockets is loaded with spikes, Lil Augie.’ ‘Sho, I’s dirty wid money.’.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Pick the Winner’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 315: I am not very dirty when I first come in as far as having any potatoes is concerned.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 796: dirty – Having money.

3. (usu. US black) good, wonderful, excellent (on bad = good model).

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Apr. 15/4: [O]ut of respect for his holy office, he doesn’t go ‘lookin’ for it,’ but, for a priest, he has a very dirty left and a good right.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘The Man From Harlem’ [lyrics] When he started in to step / He filled everyone with plenty pep, / He twitched and squirmed; it just was a dirty shame.
[US]R.S. Gold Jazz Lex. xviii: The jazzman’s [...] deliberate and significant reversal of the conventional connotations of terms such as mean, dirty, and nasty (all current c. 1900).
[US]BlazinParadise ‘Blazing Squad Language’ [Internet] Dirty – Good.

4. (UK/US Und.) dubious, unsafe, to be avoided; note mis-defined as a n. in cit. 1949.

All Sloper’s Half-Holiday VI 268 15 June 1/3: [cartoon caption] ‘One hundred francs, you scoundrel, for a bottle of dirty claret’!
[Ire]Wkly Freeman’s Jrnl 15 Oct. 12/1: Swearing that ‘he would never be the one of his name to demane himself by taking their dirty pledge’.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 26 Jan. 263: I’m not doing any more of that chap’s dirty work in future; he can do it himself.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 217: Dog racing is dirty; boxing isn’t clean; racing stinks a bit.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 69: dirty A treacherous person; a bad person.
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 112: [He] begun to think of all the dirty things he knew about the old guy. Being on the defensive with Chief, ready to use anything against him.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 97: Professionals don’t risk a whole campaign by sending a kid like that to do the dirty work.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 216: This was the biggest job they’d ever done, and the dirtiest.
[UK]Guardian Guide 29 May–4 June 54: What a dirty rotten scoundrel he is.

5. (US) in possession of a large quantity.

[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xx: These two boobs are dirty with the evergreen.
[US]R. Lardner ‘A Caddy’s Diary’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 400: Mr Doane [...] aint such a H of a man himself tho dirty with money.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Rhythm’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 349: ‘Have you got any new tunes?’ ‘New?’ Hart laughed. ‘I’m dirty with them.’.

6. of money, acquired through crime.

[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 42: Is everybody willing to do everything that’s wrong just for a few dirty dollars?
[US]D.H. Clarke In the Reign of Rothstein 9: Those closest to him admit that the money he handled was ‘dirty,’ but they don’t believe that Rothstein himself ever arranged the details of any criminal racket.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 78: They gettin scared enough to try goin for some of Deek’s dirty bucks.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 80: The money [...] comes in dirty and we clean it through our rides and joints.
[US]R.F. Coleman ‘Requiem for Spider’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] Turning huge sums of dirty money into piles of nice clean cash.

7. holding incriminating evidence.

[US]D. Hammett ‘$106,000 Blood Money’ Story Omnibus (1966) 321: Paddy was dirty with fifteen thousand or so he’d just nicked somebody for.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 54: Niles went off so fast he left his dirty drawers in the White House.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 61: You ain’t got no business sitting dirty in my ‘short’.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Whoreson 226: What you had to do was make sure they didn’t catch you dirty.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 365: He’d like to bust you. It would be a feather in his cap, and if he gets you dirty, I can’t stop it.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 337: If it’s [i.e. a gun] dirty, [it costs] about $60. If it’s fresh out of the box . . . $150.
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 192: They would send a goon squad to [...] finish him off ‘execution-style with a dirty twenty-two’.
Harlem Spartans ‘Hazards’ [lyrics] Dirty bruck back (no), in a dirty trackie (disgusting) / Fuck off’d bally, nuttin ain’t changed (nuttin’).

8. (drugs) currently addicted to drugs.

[US]P. Rabe My Lovely Executioner (2006) 134: ‘I was clean.’ ‘You spent a dirty three years.’.
[US]Maurer & Vogel Narcotics and Narcotic Addiction (3rd edn).
[UK]Times 2 May 9: Four new men came into the group meeting and each admitted he was then ‘strung-out.’ Each was given 10 days to appear on the list as ‘clean.’ At meeting 10 days later each was ‘dirty’.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 224: If their tests came back dirty [...] they were kicked out.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Royal Family 333: If you’re smokin’ crack and you test dirty, they don’t really give a shit.

9. (drugs) in possession of drugs.

[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 13: An experienced narcotics cop, or a longtime addict, can with surprising reliability spot a user in a group of twenty people, state with authority what kind of drug he is on, approximately how long it has been since his last fix, and whether or not he is at that moment ‘dirty,’ carrying drugs.
[US]P. Maas Serpico 284: When he discovered someone who was ‘dirty’ — who had heroin — he would signal it by removing his glasses. [Ibid.] 287: She was dirty. She had it on her.
[US]D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon 341: dirty: [...] having drugs on one’s person.
[US]UGK ‘Ridin’ Dirty’ [lyrics] Fool, I’m ridin dirty, uh, whaaaat / ig birds and tight herbs, fool I’m ridin dirty.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 17: Twenty people standing out there [...] all of them selling or buying drugs, half of them dirty with the shit.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 69: Enough brains to stay off the spike and to avoid being caught dirty.

10. pertaining to pornography.

[UK] (ref. to 1971) F. Dennis ‘Old Bailey’ Homeless in my Heart 180: After the raid / Where coppers as bent as a hinge / March in and bellow their trade: / ‘We’ve come for the drugs and minge! / This is the Dirty Squad / Stand up when I’m talking to you!’ [Ibid.] 185: The OZ offices were raided again and again by Scotland Yard’s so-called ‘Dirty Squad’, officially the Obscene Publications Division of the Metropolitan Police.

11. (US Und.) in possession of or carrying a weapon.

[US]H.C. Collins Street Gangs 222: Dirty To have a gun or narcotics on your person.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 56: Why didn’t you tell me you was dirty? You know I’m on probation, man. I’ll get a bid ’cause your fat ass traveling dirty.

12. (Aus./N.Z. prison) angry, embittered.

[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 247: dirty (adj) Annoyed, angry, chagrined.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 44: Darlene is nine months gone, and Mr Foster is spewing about it. He's really dirty on her for getting preggers.
[Aus]M. Coleman Fatty 124: ‘I was dirty on him,’ he said. ‘I blamed him for what had happened and I shouldn’t have’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Davo’s Little Something 56: If the truth’s known you all got a bit turned on [...] That’s why you’re all dirty.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 238: There must be witnesses or someone dirty on him.

13. (US prison) showing evidence of recent drug use in a urine test.

[US]S.L. Hills Tragic Magic 172: I was turning in dirty urine samples to my probation officer. Every time he gave me a urine test it would come back with heroin in it.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 70: If the urinalysis comes up dirty, it’s bye-bye dawg. To the Shoe, to the Hole for ninety days.

14. (US campus) unattractive.

[US]Da Bomb [Internet] 9: Dirty: Ugly.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) [Internet] Dirty (adj.) Disgusting.

15. (Irish drugs) of a narcotic injection, adulterated with some form of toxin.

[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] ‘I’m fuckin scared, man, I can’t feel me legs.’ There’s panic in me voice. [...] ‘Must be a dirty hit,’ Redser says.

16. in possession of contraband.

[US]G. Hayward Corruption Officer [ebk] cap. 27: When i got on my post [...] I was dirty with pouches of tobacco.

17. (Aus.) second-rate, poor quality.

ABC News 15 Sept. [internet] Sydney desperately counter-attacked, but Franklin’s bad miss from a simple set shot late in the third term summed up their dirty night.

18. (US) in specific use of sense 1, involved in crime.

[US]S.A. Cosby ‘The Rat & the Cobra’ in ThugLit Mar. [ebook] ‘This bout you getting dirty for once. This make sure you never try to get me killed again’.

In phrases

give the dirty sign (v.) [sense 4 above]

(US Und.) to warn.

[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 143: I had a helper. He stood outside t’ give me the dirty sign, someone’s comin’.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

dirty acres (n.)

a landed estate.

[UK]J. Locke Some Thoughts Concerning Education 208: If you would not have him waste his time and Estate to divert others and contemn the dirty Acres left him by his Ancestors [etc.].
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: He has dipt his Terra firma, he has mortgaged his dirty Acres.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 2 Feb. 1/1: The Administration who took up the Dispute, which ignorant or designing Men call a Quarrel for a few dirty acres of Land.
[UK]Hants Chron. 2 May 3/3: Sir Gilbert Heathcote will do well to keep clear of the clubs, unless he chuses to let the knave of spades dig up his dirty acres!
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Farmer 38: I’ll let Uncle see I can shine without his dirty Acres.
[UK]Sporting Mag. May XXIV 137/1: The timber demolished, the dirty acres went next.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 30 May 4/6: Who are the people? not the Lords who won / Their dirty acres, and their mounds of stone.
[UK]Worcester Jrnl 8 Jan. 4/5: [Is] Sir Robert [...] falsifying his own declarations [...] with the hope and expectation of thus ingeniously possessing himself of some of the dirty acres of our nobility?
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes II 60: The sharp practice of the white land-sharks, indeed, enlightened the Maoris as to the true value of their ‘dirty acres’.
[UK]Exeter & Plumouth Gaz. 13 Dec. 6/4: He hopes [...] the Radicals [...] will rob Conservative Ministers [...] of their ‘dirty acres’ as the reward of their dirty duplicity.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 16 Jan. 3/4: The alchemist is to be called into requisition to transmute the clods of the fallow into lumps of gold — that potent agency in the acquisition of the ‘dirty acres’.
dirty Annie (n.)

(Aus.) Reschs Dinner Ale.

[Aus]Eve. News (Sydney) 23 Feb. 4/4: BOYS (standing six deep round the bar) respond in a medley. Three bottles of K.B., please, and four bottles of Dirty Annie. Six mugs of bitter ale straight. Four glasses, one with snakejuice and one Tommy Dodd.
Google Groups: aus rail 24 Aug. [Internet] [comment] I started out drinking Toohey’s New, Tooths or Reschs in the bar or Flag Ale, DA or KB from the bottle. [response] When we were children the aforementioned beers were always referred to in our house as ‘Dirty Annie’ and ‘Kid’s Beer’.
Straight Dope Message Board 9 Oct. [Internet] Resch’s Dinner Ale: DA, I salute you. You make me feel like a 1940s/1950s office worker stopping off at the pub before going home to the missus for lamb chops and three vegies. You are old guys’ beer. You are nothing special, but ‘Dirty Annie,’ I love you anyway.
[Aus] 20 May [Internet] Alcohol nicknames [...] Silver bullet - Reschs Pilsner; Dirty Annie - Reschs Dinner Ale.
dirty barrel (n.)

(US) the male or female genitals when suffering a venereal disease.

[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases 64: dirty barrel (Vulg.) 1. A penis infested with VD. 2. A Vagina similarly infested.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 205: venereal disease [...] dirty barrel (fr Army sl gun = penis, ’40s).
dirty bird (n.)

see separate entries.

dirty bundle (n.) (also old bundle)

(W.I.) an untidy person.

[WI]Francis-Jackson Official Dancehall Dict. 38: Ol’ bungle to look simply awful; decrepit: u. yu favour ol’ bungle (also dutty bungle).
dirty dog (n.) [dog n.2 (1b)/dog n.2 (1e)]

1. a generally unpleasant person, often with overtones of womanizing.

[UK]Chester Chron. 19 July 4/1: To a Sloven. I met you t’other day, ’tis true. And passed you (dirty dog!) / Your Face quite clean, and Linen too!
[US]D. Crockett Col. Crockett’s Tour to North and Down East 216: Certain dirty dogs, calculating that nothing would be more acceptable to the president [...] put them in his possession.
[US]Freemont Jrnl (OH) 8 May 2/4: The howling set up by ‘dirty dogs,’ [...] at the refusal of the free state men to vote, is to our mind the best possible evidence of the wisdom of their refusal.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 319: She wrote [...] cautioning him against ‘Moses Mainchance’ (omitting the Sir), adding that every man’s character was ticketed in London, and the letters ‘D.D.’ for ‘Dirty Dog’ were appended to his.
[US]Marshall Cty Republican (IN) 1 Sept. 2/3: If they would confer on him the degrees of D.D. (dirty dog) and G.L. (great liar).
[US]Pulaski Citizen (TN) 27 July 1/4: You may call us a dog [...] And they say we have ben a ‘dirty dog’ ever since the war begun.
[US]S.W. Payne Behind the Bars 160: Dirthy thrick that, I say, an’ dirthy it was in me to give the dirthy dog who sint me here me vote for the promise of three dollars which I never got.
[US]Princeton Union (MN) 14 Oct. 1/4: The dirty dog of an editor who penned these words.
[US]Saline Co. Jrnl (KS) 10 May 1/4: Vorrhees Tells him to His Teeth That he is a Liar and a Dirty Dog.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 10 July 2/5: Witness [...] then pushed him, saying, ‘Get out of it, you dirty dog’.
[US]S.F. Call 6 Jan. 5/3: [headline] Called a Miserable Dirty Dog. Row in the Board of Election Commissioners.
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 268: Never you fear, my dear, we’ll ’ave that dirty dog by the ’eels yet.
[US]M. Glass Potash And Perlmutter 291: A dirty dawg like him.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 92: You might like him too much; and he’s a dirty dog.
[US]Memphis Minnie ‘Chickasaw Train Blues’ [lyrics] She done stole my man away, and blow that doggone smoke on me / She’s a low down dirty dog.
A.P. Herbert Let Us Be Glum (1941) 2: You are just a dirty dog, / And, dirty dog, we’ell do you down.
[Ire]D. MacDonagh Happy as Larry Act III: The dirty dog. I knew his scheme.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 135: Winnie knew all about Brenda and called him a dirty dog.
[UK]P. Larkin ‘A Study of Reading Habits’ in Whitsun Weddings 31: To know I could still keep cool, / And deal out the old right hook / To dirty dogs twice my size.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 120: dirty dog. A contemptible person.

2. (US black) a man who habitually mistreats women.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 148: A number of terms were used to characterize the young man who could not be trusted [...] dirty dog, Mr. Do-you-wrong.
dirty dowager (n.) [SE dowager, orig. the widow of a dead king, i.e. a queen n. (2a)]

(gay) an unkempt, ill-preserved, older, gay man.

[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 67: dowager any affluent elderly homosexual, but extended to apply to any gay man who has retired; not an unkind word, but dirty dowager most assuredly is.
dirtyfoot (n.) [? ext. of dirty leg ]

(US black) a fellatrix.

[US]Ebonics Primer at [Internet] dirtyfoot Definition: a hoe that sucks dick often Example: Man, thats a dirtyfoot, that bitch sucks dick like its her job.
dirty gertie (n.) [redup. Note that Gertie is a ‘typically’ vulgar name]

1. (US) a promiscuous or sexually enthusiastic woman.

[UK]R. Carr Rampant Age 43: Lookit young Skeeter Brown steppin’ out with Dirty Gertie. [Ibid.] 73: Dirty Gertie’s the ole red hot rocks.
[US]Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1957) 353: Dick sat in the parlor a few minutes with a girl they called Dirty Gertie.
[US]W.L. Russell ‘Dirty Gertie from Bizerte’ in The Stars and Stripes Weekly (African edn) 1:38 28 Aug. 4: Dirty Gertie from Bizerte / Hid a mousetrap ’neath her skirtie, / Strapped it to her knee-cap purty, / Baited it with Fleur-de-Flirte.
[UK]Sat. Rev. Lit. (US) 3 Nov. 7: Dirty Gertie from Bizerte ... Filthy Fanny from Trapani.

2. (bingo) the number 30.

[UK]Guardian G2 8 May 4: Some of the old ones sound cheeky enough, like ‘Dirty Gertie, number 30’.
dirty laundry (n.) (also dirty linen, ...washing)

unpleasant, embarrassing or revelatory information; thus air one’s dirty laundry in public.

[UK]Islington Gaz. 12 Dec. 2/2: We have a decided opinion that Napoleon’s advice as to the proproety of ‘washing one’s dirty linen at home’, is worthy of being held in remembrance.
[UK]Trollope Last Chronicle of Barset (2004) 249: There is nothing, I think, so bad as washing one’s dirty linen in public.
[UK]Derbyshire Times 26 Feb. 6/1: [headline] Washing Dirty linen in Public. The Domestica Relations of a Sheffield Solicitor.
[UK]Pall Mall Gaz. 5 Apr. 1/1: More Washing of Dirty Linen [...] he likens the manifesto [...] not to that soiled linen [...] which ought not to be washed in public, but to a single dirty pocket-handkerchief.
[US]Dly Bulletin (HI) 18 May 2/2: This small Nation has a big pile of social, moral, political and official dirty linen, piled away in various places.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 6 Nov. 5/7: [headline] The Dockers and their Dirty Linen.
[UK]Sporting Times 5 May 1/1: Mr. Swift McNeill is very keen to get hold of War Office dirty linen.
[US]Dly Ardmoreite (OK) 17 Jan. 4/2: Campbell Russel has failed dismally in his dirty laundry campaign.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 25 Feb. 1/2: Rival political factions are through airing their bitterness and washing their ‘dirty linen’.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[UK]Dundee Courier 30 Sept. 4/6: There might be ‘washing of dirty linen,’ but no details were given.
[UK]Western Dly Press 25 July 11/6: [headline] No Public Washing of Dirty Linen.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 626: You heard all kinds of things, people washing their dirty linen in public.
[US]J.M. Cain Mildred Pierce (1985) 342: She hated to wash the dirty linen in front of any more people than she could help.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 17 Feb. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 803: They want laundry lists and dirty linen.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 117: Sneed had been on good terms with Morton ever since he had proceeded in such a discreet fashion as to allow none of the family’s dirty laundry to be dragged out in public after he had nicked the magistrate’s daughter, Caroline.
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 26: I’m dragging out the dirty linen and all the grimes.
[UK]D. Jarman diary 2 July Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 161: In any case who would want to know the secrets of Mr Major’s dirty linen.
[US]R. Shell Iced 167: Both of us was hiding our dirty laundry from each other. Dirty denial.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 158: I intend to dump a ton of police dirty washing before the court.
[UK]Guardian G2 4 May 17: Against a backdrop of the American obsession with self-improvement and dirty laundry, the single-name hosts [...] make a nice living out of the misery and misfortune of others.
dirty left/right (n.)

(Aus.) a powerful fist, of the left or right hand.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 30 June 13/4: ‘See that black eye? Well, a blanky good man gave me that on Saturday; and this ’ere other eye is going to be blacked, too, before I go home to-night. It’s got to be a blanky good man, though, that will do it, I promise you.’ (And he swaggered off to clinch the solidarity of the Empire per medium of ‘a dirty left.’).
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Sept. 11/1: If yer wasn’t off yer onion, Kaiser Bill, / Would yer tread on Russia’s bunion, Kaiser Bill? / Would yer spring up mad an’ perty, / Let yer right go loose an’ dirty, / Till yer neighbors all got shirty, Kaiser Bill?
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Letter to the Front’ in Moods of Ginger Mick 88: The day yeh swung a dirty left, fer us, at Sari Bair.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] DIRTY LEFT—A formidable hit.
dirty leg (n.) [leg n. (9a)] (US)

1. a promiscuous woman, thus adj. dirty-legged.

[US]N.E. Police Gaz. (Boston, MA) 5 Oct. 6/3: Among the arrivals in town are [...] spoopsey Ike Marshall, dirty legged Josephine Favory, and Mary Doyle, the bleachery moak fancier.
[US] in B. Jackson In the Life (1972) 192: A dirty leg is just for a guy that [...] wants a $5 to $10 piece of ass.
[US]Current Sl. IV:1.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 72: A Five was a Dirty Leg. She wore lots of cheap wigs, waited tables or hopped cars, was truly hung, might chew gum, posed for pictures, and got most of her fun in groups.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 54: dirty leg ‘promiscuous girl’.

2. sexual intercourse.

[US]F.X. Toole Rope Burns 73: What they wanted to do was bed me, men and women both. Hail, I wanted to learn how to fight, not the dirty leg.
dirty-livered (adj.)

(Aus.) a general term of abuse: grumpy, objectionable; thus in a dirty liver, in a bad mood.

[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 11: I’m just dirty-livered, that’s all.
[UK]F. Keinzly Tangahano 113: Ya old girl’s home. She’s in a dirty liver.
dirty name (v.)

(US) to abuse, to slander.

[US](con. 1920s) J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 212: He said you’d been dirty-naming me.
dirty neck (n.) [coined by US troops in WWI to describe French women]

(US) a promiscuous woman; a general term of abuse; also attrib.

[US]M.O. Keeley ‘A.E.F. English’ in AS V:5 (1930) 383: Dirty-necks. French girls.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 312: Oh, so this is dirty-neck Bradley [...] Mac yelled down to Francis that Dirty-Neck Bradley had a wagon to give him for a load.
[US]T. Berger Reinhart in Love (1963) 413: Reinhart [...] saw no good reason why they should know more about man on the basis of drunks, dirty necks, and addresses of ill repute.
dirty old man (n.)

see separate entry.

dirty pool (n.)

(orig. US) unfair, duplicitous activity; thus play dirty pool, to behave in an underhand manner.

[US] in Webster 9.
[US]N.Y. Times 13 Apr. 29: They charged that officials of Harrison [...] had resorted to ‘dirty pool’ by secretly presenting the bill in Albany and getting it passed by means of an exchange of favors among state legislators.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 222: That was dirty pool, Fritz, mentioning that thing to him.
[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 170: He said he’d lie to my boss about me in order to get me fired [...] That’s really dirty pool.
dirty sanchez (n.)

(US black) the act of sticking one’s finger up someone’s anus and then wiping their top lip with one’s finger, to give them a dirty moustache; usu. by a man to a woman.

[US]J. Rodriguez ‘A Typical School Day’ [Internet] Michelle is looking as hot as usual and I offer her my lunch money if she lets me eat her asshole. She doesn’t agree as usual so I lift her skirt and shove my finger up her ass, bring it up to the lip and deliver the Dirty Sanchez.
Big Empire [Internet] Hell, if it weren’t for the Marquis, we’d still be saying ‘fucking him/her up the ass and then rubbing his/her own shit into a mustache on his/her upper lip’ instead of the far more eloquent and mysterious ‘Dirty Sanchez.’.
dirty shirt (n.)

see separate entries.

In phrases

the dirty half-mile (n.) [both areas are/were known for roughness, decadence and excess] (Aus.)

1. Kings Cross Road, Sydney.

[Aus]F.E. Baume Burnt Sugar 338: Mario could [...] mention Bondi and Coogee with detachment and grin knowingly when anyone spoke of the Dirty Half Mile.
[Aus]A.L. Haskell Waltzing Matilda 139: It was once the centre of the red light district, ‘the dirty half-mile’.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 189: Got above herself, she has. Stuck up in one of them flash joints round the Dirty Half Mile and for all I care, she can stay there and rot.
see sense 2.
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 2 July Guide 16: The Nightwatch mike found a trio of buskers near the Dirty Half Mile [GAW4].
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 5 Nov. [Internet] In 1997, my colleague Phil Cornford wrote, ‘Corrupt Kings Cross detectives called it “the laugh”. With immunity, they took bribes to protect drug dealers, strip-club operators and standover thugs along Darlinghurst Road’s “dirty half mile” of sleaze and sex.’.

2. William Street, Sydney.

K. Slessor Bread and Wine 18: William Street [...] was the original ‘Dirty Half Mile’, a title afterwards transferred to Woolcott Street and now without a claimant.
dirty night at sea (n.)

see under sea n.

dirty (on) (adj.)

(Aus.) resentful (of).

[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 77: They’re dirty on me, but they have to agree ’cause she’s such a success.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 20: ‘I’m dirty on him,’ meaning annoyed.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 93: You have kept your bargain with the police and the Crown and no-one is dirty on you.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 187: I’m not dirty on the poor old dinki di Abos.
get the dirty water off one’s chest (v.)

to have sexual intercourse.

[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in The Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 65: While the other bastards are busy getting the dirty water off their chests, a bloke like me runs the risk of goin’ blind jerkin’ the gherkin.
[UK](con. WWII) B. Aldiss Soldier Erect 36: I’m going to get myself a black woman [...] I’ve got a lot of dirty water on my chest.

In exclamations

I’ll be a dirty word! (also I’ll be a dirty name!, I’m a dirty name) [lit. + fig. use of SE dirty word]

a mild oath.

[US]E.L. Thayer Casey at the Bat [Internet] And when the dust had lifted — well I'll be a dirty word, / There was Maisie Breen on second, and Dot Flynn was safe on third.
[US]‘Paul Cain’ Fast One (1936) 293: Well, ’m a dirty name - ish Gerry - good ol’ son of a bitch Gerry.
[US]E. Parker et al. Fugitives 70: Well I’ll be a dirty name here it is tomorrow .
[US]L. De Foy ‘Armored car Rendezvous’ in 10-Story Detective Jan.[Internet] Lootenant Evans! I’ll be a dirty name if it ain’t!
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 160: ‘Well, I’ll be a dirty name,’ he says.
[US]E.S. Gardner Bedrooms have Windows 21: ‘Well, I'll be a dirty name!’ Bertha said. ‘Of all the crust!’.
[US]R.A. Henelin Past through Tomorrow 230: Why, I’ll be a dirty name! You hooked me with a fool’s mate.
[US]B. Ottum See the Kid Run 118: I’ll be a dirty name [...] I’ll be a son of a bitch. That little, that little cretin up there is drooling into the food.
[US]R. Torrey 42 Dats for Murder 57: It means something. But I’ll be a dirty name if I know what.
[US]C. Howell Book of Naughty Nomenclature [Internet] Exclamation I’ll be a dirty word.