pay the fiddler

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pay the fiddler

To face, accept, or suffer repercussions for one's actions or words, especially that would be expected to incur punishment. (A less common version of "pay the piper.") After three nights of heavy drinking, I'm really going to be paying the fiddler come Monday morning! With the judge handing down the maximum possible sentence, this monster will be paying the fiddler for the rest of his life.
See also: fiddler, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
At the deepest level of the Western psyche is the surety that he who pays the fiddler calls the tune.
The old adage "he who pays the fiddler calls the tune" emphasizes this truth: Executive management is the "buyer.