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treat like dirt

Behave badly or show contempt toward, as in Her boss treats all the secretaries like dirt. This idiom uses dirt in the sense of “something worthless,” a usage dating from the mid-1300s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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