I am going to see what I can dig up

I want to know what the above sentence means. However, I know the meaning of "dig up", but I am a little confused about what the speaker really meant in that sentence.

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    It can have a literal meaning or a figurative meaning of dig up, depending on how it is used. In which way does the speaker use it? In other words, can you supply any context or extra-textual clues to this statement? (Or are we just supposed to guess :)) Commented May 3, 2016 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


It is possible that the writer means it literally: that he is going to go out to a field with a shovel and search for things that are buried.

Much more likely, he is using it as an idiom meaning, "I will see what information I can find."

For example:

Al: Does XYZ Corporation have a reputation as an honest company?

Bob: I don't know, but I'll check on the Internet and see what I can dig up.

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    It also implies you don't know what you will find, same as if you dig a hole in the ground.
    – user3169
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 17:31

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