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Slang term[edit]

I always thought the 60's slang term "to dig" meant "to like" but thinking about it, it probably does blur into "to understand". I think it has one more complicated definition and not these two simple definitions though. Needs some thought... — Hippietrail 00:12, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This [1] seems to summarize what you're saying. As far as I know though it feels like two separate senses, one "be into", the other "grok". But then I've never been to the 60's, so... —Muke Tever 02:27, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I agree with HT. They are two sepreate senses of the 60's slang term, so I'll add it.

Talk from rfv.

Second sense: "To practice gardening, mining or archeology" seems to be covered by the first definition. Is it used as "I have a dig this afternoon" to mean you will be gardening this afternoon? --Connel MacKenzie 18:45, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it's a verb sense, so it would be more like "I'm going to go out and dig this afternoon." meaning to go out and garden. I can definitely see this being used this way by one who is an avid gardener (i.e. "why else would I be digging?") but I'm not sure that makes it idiomatic; it wouldn't be understood by one who didn't know the individual in question. I did some looking with pairs like "go dig" + garden and "go dig" + archaeology, and didn't find any examples that seemed to represent this use (but there are tens of thousands of hits on these, and I didn't wade through them all.)
Or is this supposed to be a usage where there is activity other than actual digging that is conveyed? For example, someone saying "I'm going to go out and dig" when they really mean they'll be doing weeding or watering, etc. Or, for an archaeology example, when they would be, perhaps, chemically cleansing an artifact or staking out a site, rather than actually moving earth. I'm just hypothesizing here, but perhaps someone can jump in with a cite? Jeffqyzt 19:16, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it is not a seperate sense. No cites. Rfvfailed. Andrew massyn 10:19, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
There also is dig a software tool to look up DNS records for IPs. [2] Should stuff like that be listed? Mutante 05:58, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of “understand” sense[edit]

AFAICT, the sense “understand” (and, by extension (?) “like”) is clearly from Black English (African American Vernacular English, AAVE), popularized in standard (White) English in the 1960s. Beyond that, a cursory examination suggests no consensus as to origin, which is quite common for Black words. The proposed Wolof origin is convincing to me on its face, but I’ve listed alternative proposals as there does not appear to be consensus. Further references would of course be appreciated!

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 00:25, 8 July 2010 (UTC)