Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms related to Devil

speak of the devil

speak of the devil
also talk of the devil

Meaning:

  • when someone comes in unexpectedly while being talked about
  • when talking about a certain person, that person appears

Example:

  1. We were huddled together in our lunch table, talking about our boss, when he walked in. Well, speak of the devil!
  2. Did you see Bob today? Oh, there he comes! Speak of the devil.
  3. Do you know what Parker did yesterday? Oh, speak of the devil, here he comes!
  4. They were discussing the girl who was his new crush when she walked in. Speak of the devil.
  5. Did you hear what happened to Mary today – oh, speak of the devil, there she is.
  6. I hope our teacher doesn’t come today – oh, speak of the devil, here he comes.

Origin:
This phrase, in its current usage, is a lighthearted way of referring to someone who has unexpectedly come in when being talked about, however, prior to the 20th century, it wasn’t a lighthearted one. The full form of this phrase is “Speak of the Devil and he will appear”, and was meant to warn people not to talk about the Devil. It was widely known and used by the mid 1600s.

devil’s advocate

devil’s advocate

Meaning:

  • one who presents a counter argument
  • one who argues against something just for the sake of arguing, without actually being committed to the views
  • one who puts forward arguments against a proposition, even if they may actually agree with it, simply to test the validity of the proposition
  • someone who pretends to be against an idea or plan that many agree with, so that people may discuss it and consider other views
  • a person who disagrees with others solely for the sake of having a discussion on the issue

Example:

  1. I agree with what you say, but I’ll play devil’s advocate so that we can cover all the possibilities that may arise.
  2. He offered to play devil’s advocate and argue against our case so that we could find out any flaws in it.
  3. The schoolmaster often played devil’s advocate with his students so that they could have an interesting discussion and look at other point of views.
  4. The plan id good, but I’ll play devil’s advocate so that we know what the opposition can say.

Origin:
During the canonization (declaring that a person, who has died, was a saint) process of the Roman Catholic Church, an official was appointed to argue against the canonization of the proposed candidate. This is done to properly justify the merits of the candidate. This official was known as the devil’s advocate.

devil may care

devil-may-care

Meaning:
– very casual attitude
– worry-free or carefree attitude
– reckless
– defiant
– relaxed and not worried about the results of your actions

Examples:
1. The opening batsman’s devil-may-care approach may ruin his chances of securing a permanent in the team.
2. She had a rather devil-may-care attitude towards money which impressed me at the time.
3. You must get rid of your devil-may-care attitude if you want to succeed.
4. Jane acts so uncaring with her devil-may-care manner.
5. He has a rather devil-may-care attitude to his studies.

Origin:
First uses of this idioms was found in about 1765-95. But we do not have correct original details of this idiom, if you do, please post in comment below.

Synonyms:
careless, reckless, cavalier, unconcerned, free and easy, inattentive, rash, happy-to-go, heedless, foolhardy, easygoing, nonchalant.

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