It is common to simply use 'dirty' as the adverb here, ex: He talks dirty.

Other resources say that the adverb is dirtily! I do not believe I've ever heard this used... is it correct?

  • dirtily is alright, although you should look up some synonyms for dirt. – user38547 Mar 1 '13 at 21:11
  • What about 'and I looked at him so dirtily' – user59506 Dec 11 '13 at 20:53

Dirtily is the adverb while dirty is used as an adjective or verb. However, to talk dirty is an informal phrase and is always used this way.

talk dirty
informal talk about sex in a coarse or salacious way.

I assume that you wouldn't want to talk about talking dirty in a formal context anyway, so talk dirty should be fine.

  • Unless you are a geologist, agriculturalist, or dry cleaner. Then "talk dirty to me" can have less salacious meanings. :^) – puppetsock Aug 30 '19 at 15:06

Dirtily is correct, but it does sound a bit clunky. A few alternative adverbs: foully, uncleanly, shamefully, basely, vulgarly, coarsely.

  • 3
    "Talk foully to me." - It just doesn't roll off the tongue. – user6223 Mar 17 '11 at 20:33
  • @user6223: True. In many contexts, "talk dirty" would be the way to go despite its not being grammatically correct. :) – Kelly Hess Mar 17 '11 at 20:58
  • 3
    you sure? Merriam-Webster says "dirty (adv): in a dirty manner: as a: deceptively, underhandedly <fight dirty>, b: indecently <talk dirty>" – nohat Mar 18 '11 at 6:16

"Dirtily" is the correct form for the adverb. Think of it this way, "As the miner emerged from days working in the coal mine, he was dressed so DIRTILY I barely recognized him".

  • Dirtyily ! Surely some mistake. – High Performance Mark Aug 30 '19 at 15:04
  • No. Take the time to know what you're talking about. The proper adverb for "dirty" is "dirtily". The proper adverb for "pretty" is "prettily". It's really quite simple if you'd take the time to learn the English language. – Preservationist Aug 30 '19 at 15:16
  • The proper adverb for "dirty" is "dirtily". I concur. Which is why I find the first word of your answer rather odd. – High Performance Mark Aug 30 '19 at 15:17

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