phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Wet work

Posted by TheFallen on February 28, 2003

In Reply to: Wet work posted by Fred on February 27, 2003

: In a recent article in the New York Times this passage occurs: '... the Albanians ... did
: wet work for the K.G.B.' Does 'wet work' mean 'dirty work'? If so, why?

It means more than dirty work. "Wet work" is spy slang (and allegedly CIA slang) for missions involving killing someone - also known as "sanctioning" someone. I imagine it's called "wet work" because it sometimes gets a bit messy.