is matter in the wrong place. (Lord Palmerston.) This is not true: a diamond or sovereign lost on a road is matter in a wrong place, but certainly is not dirt.
Throw plenty of dirt and some will be sure to stick. Scandal always leaves a trail behind. Dirt cheap. Very low-priced. Dirt is so cheap that persons pay others to take it away. To eat dirt is to put up with insults and mortification. An Eastern method of punishment.
“If dirt were trumps what a capital hand you would hold!” —Charles Lamb to Martin Burney.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894