From Middle English diggen (“to dig”), alteration of Old English dīcian (“to dig a ditch, to mound up earth”) (compare Old English dīcere (“digger”)) from dīc, dīċ (“dike, ditch”) from Proto-Germanic *dīkaz, *dīkiją (“pool, puddle”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰīgʷ-, *dʰeygʷ- (“to stab, dig”). Additionally, Middle English diggen may derive from an unrecorded suffixed variant, *dīcgian. Akin to Danish dige (“to dig, raise a dike”), Swedish dika (“to dig ditches”). Related to Middle French diguer (“to dig”), from Old French dikier, itself a borrowing of the same Germanic root (from Middle Dutch dijc). More at ditch, dike.
dig (third-person singular simple present digs, present participle digging, simple past and past participle dug or (archaic) digged)
- (transitive, intransitive) To move hard-packed earth out of the way, especially downward to make a hole with a shovel. Or to drill, or the like, through rocks, roads, or the like. More generally, to make any similar hole by moving material out of the way.
- They dug an eight-foot ditch along the side of the road.
- In the wintertime, heavy truck tires dig into the road, forming potholes.
- If the plane can't pull out of the dive it is in, it'll dig a hole in the ground.
- My seven-year-old son always digs a hole in the middle of his mashed potatoes and fills it with gravy before he starts to eat them.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- Miss Thorn began digging up the turf with her lofter: it was a painful moment for me. ¶ “You might at least have tried me, Mrs. Cooke,” I said.
- (transitive) To get by digging; to take from the ground; often with up.
- to dig potatoes
- to dig up gold
- (mining) To take ore from its bed, in distinction from making excavations in search of ore.
- (US, slang, dated) To work like a digger; to study ploddingly and laboriously.
- 1894, Paul Leicester Ford, The Honorable Peter Stirling:
- Peter dug at his books all the harder.
- (figurative) To investigate, to research, often followed by out or up.
- to dig up evidence
- to dig out the facts
- 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in American Scientist:
- Digging deeper, the invention of eyeglasses is an elaboration of the more fundamental development of optics technology. The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.
- (US, slang, dated, originally African-American, widespread from 1930s until early 1960s, remains in jazz musician slang) To understand, to like.
- To thrust; to poke.
- He dug an elbow into my ribs and guffawed at his own joke.
- 1551, Thomas More, “(please specify the Internet Archive page)”, in Raphe Robynson [i.e., Ralph Robinson], transl., A Fruteful, and Pleasaunt Worke of the Best State of a Publyque Weale, and of the Newe Yle Called Utopia: […], London: […] [Steven Mierdman for] Abraham Vele, […], →OCLC:
- You should have seen children […] dig and push their mothers under the sides, saying thus to them: Look, mother, how great a lubber doth yet wear pearls.
- (volleyball) To defend against an attack hit by the opposing team by successfully passing the ball
- dig a hole for oneself
- dig deep
- dig for victory
- dig in
- dig in one's heels
- dig into
- dig oneself in a hole
- dig oneself into a hole
- dig one's grave with a fork
- dig one's grave with a fork and spoon
- dig one's heels in
- dig one's own grave
- dig out
- dig out of a hole
- dig over
- dig up
- dig up dirt
- double dig
- he who digs a pit for others falls in himself
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
dig (plural digs)
- An archeological or paleontological investigation, or the site where such an investigation is taking place.
- Synonym: excavation
- A thrust; a poke.
- Synonym: jab
- He guffawed and gave me a dig in the ribs after telling his latest joke.
- 1961 October, “The winter timetables of British Railways: Southern Region”, in Trains Illustrated, page 593:
- Why this already very fast train should be speeded up still further, when none of the other more easily timed S.R. West of England trains has a single minute pared from its schedule, is unexplained - unless this is a playful dig at the Western Region, most of whose expresses, by reason of additional stops, will be decelerated from the same date.
- (volleyball) A defensive pass of the ball that has been attacked by the opposing team.
- (cricket) An innings.
- A cutting, sarcastic remark.
- Synonym: jibe
- 1838, John Baldwin Buckstone, The Irish Lion. A Farce, in One Act, page 15:
- Buckram ! that's a dig at my trade.
- 2012, Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56, page ccxcix:
- Entitled 'On Several Mistakes of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia', this document is broader, more theoretical and more rambling than the Polish equivalent, identifying deep problems in many spheres. But it does get in a few digs at Slánský, accusing him of having made mistakes in recruitment to the communist party.
- 2013, William T. Vollmann, An Afghanistan Picture Show: Or, How I Saved the World:
- Unfortunately, the man was too busy, although he said hello to the Young Man politely enough and found the time to make a few digs about the postponement of the elections.
- 2018, Paul Maunder, The Wind At My Back: A Cycling Life:
- In 'Sorted for E's and Whizz', Pulp's Jarvis Cocker wrote about losing an important part of his brain somewhere in a field in Hampshire, and took a dig at the rave scene for being hypocritical – idealistic and friendly when everyone was coming up on their pills, less so when everyone's coming down and you're trying to get a lift home – and essentially meaningless.
- 2021 December 8, Arwa Mahdawi, “Elon Musk is learning a hard lesson: never date a musician”, in The Guardian:
- She could have made a dig about the size of his rockets.
- The occupation of digging for gold.
- 1887, Harriet W. Daly, Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia, page 207:
- Don Quixote told us that Western Australia was the same to him as any other country, except that it possessed the charm of novelty, and he assured us that as soon as he was well enough he would be off on the "dig" once more.
- (US, colloquial, dated) A plodding and laborious student.
- 1892, Occident - Volume 22, page 36:
- Between the two extremes of college men the unsocial dig and the flunking swell, lies the majority, who, acknowledging the duty and merit of hard work, see the value in social and recreative line, but are at somewhat of a loss, seemingly, how to proportionize the time given to the different sides of college life, or how far to allow themselves to go on the more attractive side.
- (UK, dialect, dated) A tool for digging.
- (music, slang) A rare or interesting vinyl record bought second-hand.
- a £1 charity shop dig
From African American Vernacular English; due to lack of writing of slave speech, etymology is difficult to trace, but it has been suggested that it is from Wolof dëgg, dëgga (“to understand, to appreciate”). It has also been suggested that it is from Irish dtuig. Others do not propose a distinct etymology, instead considering this a semantic shift of the existing English term (compare dig in/dig into).
dig (third-person singular simple present digs, present participle digging, simple past and past participle dug)
- (dated slang) To understand.
- You dig?
- 1974, “H2Ogate Blues”, in Winter in America, performed by Gil Scott-Heron:
- McCord has blown. Mitchell has blown. No tap on my telephone / Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean / It follows a pattern if you dig what I mean
- (dated slang, transitive) To appreciate, or like.
- Baby, I dig you.
- 1957, Jack Kerouac, chapter 6, in On the Road, Viking Press, →OCLC, part 2:
- «And dig her!» yelled Dean, pointing at another woman. «Oh, I love, love, love women! I think women are wonderful! I love women!»
- 1971, Joni Mitchell (lyrics and music), “California”, in Blue:
- Oh, but California / California, I'm coming home / I'm going to see the folks I dig
- 1976, Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift, New York: Avon, →ISBN, page 432:
- Louie said, "I dig this Theo. I'm gonna learn Swahili and rap with him."
- (medicine, colloquial) Digoxin.
- dig toxicity
- infra dig (etymologically unrelated)
From Dutch dicht, from Middle Dutch dicht, from Old Dutch *thīht, from Proto-Germanic *þinhtaz.
dig (attributive digte, comparative digter, superlative digste)
From Dutch dichten, from Middle Dutch dichten, from Latin dictō.
dig (present dig, present participle digtende, past participle gedig)
- (intransitive) to compose a poem
dig (nominative du, possessive din)
- (personal) you (2nd person singular object pronoun)
Also used as a reflexive pronoun with a 2nd person subject
|Second||modern / informal||du||dig||din||dit||dine|
|archaic / formal||vor||vort||vore|
- inflection of deug:
|Old Irish mutation|
pronounced with /ð(ʲ)-/
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every|
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.
dig n (plural diguri)
- dej (strongly colloquial)
From Old Norse þik, from Proto-Germanic *þek, from Proto-Indo-European *te-ge.
- you (objective case, singular)
- Jag såg dig aldrig där.
- I never saw you there.
- reflexive case of du: compare yourself
- Skulle du vilja lära dig jonglera?
- Would you like to learn how to juggle?
- Skar du dig på kniven?
- Did you cut yourself on the knife?
Note that some verbs have special senses when used reflexively. For example, do not confuse du lär dig att... ("you learn to...") [reflexive] with jag lär dig att... ("I teach you to...") or du lär dig själv att... ("you teach yourself to..."). Here, lär means teach(es) if it is not reflexive, but learn(s) if it is reflexive. Thus, the separate pronoun "dig själv" is needed when object and subject agree, even though the verb should not be used in the reflexive case.
Also note that in the imperative, when there's usually no explicit subject given, the "själv" is dropped.
|third||masculine (person)||han||honom, han2, en5||hans|
|feminine (person)||hon||henne, na5||hennes|
|gender-neutral (person)1||hen||hen, henom7||hens|
|indefinite||man or en4||en||ens|
|plural||first||—||vi||oss||vår, våran2||vårt, vårat2||våra|
|second||—||ni||er||er, eran2, ers6||ert, erat2||era|
|third||—||de, dom3||dem, dom3||deras|
From Middle English dyggar.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 35