Money; so called because it is made of gold-dust. It is said that Dean Swift took for the text of a charity sermon, “He who giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.” Having thrice repeated his text, he added, “Now, brethren, if you like the security, down with your dust.” That ended his sermon.
The wild Irish peasantry believe that dust is raised on roads by fairies on a journey, and raise their hats to it, saying, “God speed you, gentlemen.” The Arabs think the whirlwind and waterspout are caused by evil jinns.
I'll dust your jacket for you.
Give you a good beating. The allusion is to dusting carpets, etc., by beating them with a stick.
To raise a dust, To kick up a dust.
To make a commotion or disturbance. To throw dust in one's eyes.
To mislead. The allusion is to a Mahometan practice of casting dust into the air for the sake of “confounding” the enemies of the faith. This was done by Mahomet on two or three occasions, as in the battle of Honein; and the Koran refers to it when it says, “Neither didst thou, O Mahomet, cast dust into their eyes; but it was God who confounded them.” But the following incident will suffice: One day the Koreishites surrounded the house of Mahomet, resolved to murder him. They peeped through the crevice of his chamber-door, and saw him lying asleep. Just at this moment his son-in-law Ali opened the door silently and threw into the air a handful of dust. Immediately the conspirators were confounded. They mistook Ali for Mahomet, and Mahomet for Ali; allowed the prophet to walk through their midst uninjured, and laid hands on Ali. No sooner was Mahomet safe, than their eyes were opened, and they saw their mistake.
“When the English king pursued the Imaum who had stolen the daughter of Allah, Allah threw dust in his eyes to check his pursuit.” —Legend at Gori (respecting the beauty of the Georgians).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894