What's the correct preposition that should come after this phrase? Is it "on" or "about"?

I've done some digging ___ that man and found out that he's an orphan.


3 Answers 3


"On" would be most idiomatic and most specific. Doing research about someone feels broader, as if you may be looking up things that are only tangentially related to him; doing research on him suggests that you're seeking the facts directly concerning him (such as the fact that he's an orphan). The word "digging" in the sense meaning "research" usually implies a direct (and, if it's on a person, possibly slightly invasive) search for information, so "on" works best.


I think either preposition could be used and they would be equally understandable. When you use the term "digging" to mean "investigating" or "research", you are already speaking very informally.


In the context of an investigation, to “digging on” a person is short for “digging for details on” that person, which is easier to analyze. “Dig” specifically is a metaphor for going through piles (physical or digital) of data to find something.

You will find many such informal shorthand expressions for things frequently said in a specific field, which a person outside that field may not readily understand.

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