To move hard-packed earth out of the way, especially downward to make a hole with a shovel. Or to drill, or the like, through rocks, roads, or the like. More generally, to make any similar hole by moving material out of the way.
To get by digging; to take from the ground; often with up.
From Middle English diggen ("to dig"), alteration of Old English dīcian ("to dig a ditch, to mound up earth") (compare Old English dīcere ("digger")) from dic from Proto-Germanic *dīkaz, *dīkiją, from Proto-Indo-European *dʰīgʷ-, *dʰeygʷ-. Additionally, Middle English diggen may derive from an unrecorded suffixed variant, *dicgian. Akin to Danish dige ("to dig, raise a dike"), Swedish dika ("to dig ditches"). Related to Middle French diguer ("to dig"), from Old French dikier, itself a borrowing of the same Germanic root (from Middle Dutch dijc). More at ditch, dike.
From African American Vernacular English; due to lack of writing of slave speech, etymology is difficult to trace, but it has been suggested that it is from Wolof dëgg, dëgga. It has also been suggested that it is from Irish tuig. Others do not propose a distinct etymology, instead considering this a semantic shift of the existing English term (compare dig in/dig into).
Modern English dictionary
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