down and dirty

Idioms & Phrases

down and dirty

  1. Vicious, not governed by rules of decency, as in The candidates are getting down and dirty early in the campaign. [Slang; early 1980s]

  2. Very earthy, uninhibitedly sexual. For example, "L.A. club people rarely get down and dirty on a dance floor" (The New Yorker, May 21, 1990). [Late 1980s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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