1. To dig or labor with or as if with a spade.
2a. To make a careful or detailed search for information
2b to examine a subject in detail.
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the Day, 18 September 2020)
Use it in a sentence
My mother warned me not to ask too many questions – that a lump of coal under extreme pressure can become a diamond, but only if left buried underground for centuries. I pointed out that it was just a silly myth and, in fact, I’d watched a video that turned a spoonful of peanut butter into a diamond and that was no truer than the coal lie.
‘You’re missing the point,’ she grumbled. ‘Just leave it alone!’
But once you think someone, your boyfriend, is somehow not who he seems, even after so many years, you cannot rest easy until you delve a little deeper. My mother, desperate for a grandchild, would forgive him anything, if it meant he would marry me and produce offspring sometime soon.
It’s just that, when he arrived home at night, he seemed breathless, as though he’d just escaped some calamity and was quite relieved to be indoors. ‘Alright?’ I’d ask. And he’d stare at me for a moment before smiling broadly. ‘Yep! Just a long and busy day!’
He worked in an independent book shop that was only kept afloat by a handful of loyal repeat customers.
Then there was the unusual smell on his clothes. Not perfume. Nothing like that. No, it was more like leather. It was faintly animalistic, with rich earthy undertones. It wafted after him when he went to wash his hands. But the smell was in his clothes, and until he changed his shirt, it lingered on my palate, like cigarette smoke.
It was not the smell of modern paperbacks.
One night, I snooped through his briefcase. Not my finest hour, I know. But my curiosity was eating away at me and the more I casually dropped pointed questions, the more evasive he became. I quickly flicked open the latches whilst he showered. I found the usual briefcase detritus – half an orange wrapped in a sticky napkin, several used bus tickets, a packet of chewing gum, and three leaky pens. But, there was also a crumpled up newspaper clipping about the Botswana government looking for a new hangman, a box of matches (he didn’t smoke), a pair of socks (clean, I think) scrunched up into a ball, and an appointment card for laser hair removal.
Confounded, I snapped the briefcase shut, and held still for a moment. What on earth was going on?