Origin of dig

1
1275–1325; Middle English diggen, perhaps representing an OE derivative of dīc ditch; Middle French diguer to dig (< Middle Dutch) is attested later and apparently not the immediate source

dig

2
[dig]

verb (used with object), dug, dig·ging. Slang.

to understand: Can you dig what I'm saying?
to take notice of: Dig those shoes he's wearing.
to like, love, or enjoy: She digs that kind of music. We really dig each other.

Origin of dig

2
1935–40; perhaps < Irish (an) dtuig(eann tú mé?) do you understand me? and parallel expressions with tuigim I understand (see twig2)

dig.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for dig

dig

verb digs, digging or dug

(when tr, often foll by up) to cut into, break up, and turn over or remove (earth, soil, etc), esp with a spade
to form or excavate (a hole, tunnel, passage, etc) by digging, usually with an implement or (of animals) with feet, claws, etcto dig a tunnel
(often foll by through) to make or force (one's way), esp by removing obstructionshe dug his way through the crowd
(tr; often foll by out or up) to obtain by diggingto dig potatoes; to dig up treasure
(tr; often foll by out or up) to find or discover by effort or searchingto dig out unexpected facts
(tr; foll by in or into) to thrust or jab (a sharp instrument, weapon, etc); pokehe dug his spurs into the horse's side
(tr; foll by in or into) to mix (compost, etc) with soil by digging
(tr) informal to like, understand, or appreciate
(intr) US slang to work hard, esp for an examination
(intr) British informal to have lodgingsI dig in South London

noun

the act of digging
a thrust or poke, esp in the ribs
a cutting or sarcastic remark
informal an archaeological excavation
See also dig in, digs

Word Origin for dig

C13 diggen, of uncertain origin

Dig

noun

NZ informal short for Digger (def. 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dig
v.

early 14c. (diggen), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to dike and ditch, either via Old French diguer (ultimately from a Germanic source), or directly from an unrecorded Old English word. Native words were deolfan (see delve), grafan (see grave (v.)).

Slang sense of "understand" first recorded 1934 in Black English, probably based on the notion of "excavate." A slightly varied sense of "appreciate" emerged 1939. Strong past participle dug appeared 16c., but is not etymological. Related: Digging.

n.

late 17c. as "a tool for digging," from dig (v.). Meaning "archaeological expedition" is from 1896. Meaning "thrust or poke" (as with an elbow) is from 1819; figurative sense of this is from 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper