piper


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Related to piper: pied piper

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Prov. If you are paying for someone's services, you can dictate exactly what you want that person to do. When Mrs. Dalton told the artist what she wanted her portrait to look like, the artist cringed to think that anyone could have such bad taste. Still, he who pays the piper calls the tune, and Mrs. Dalton got what she wanted.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who

pay the piper

Fig. to face the results of one's actions; to receive punishment for something. You can put off paying your debts only so long. Eventually you'll have to pay the piper. You can't get away with that forever. You'll have to pay the piper someday.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

to accept the unpleasant results of something you have done pay the price After fooling around for most of the semester, now he has to pay the piper and study over vacation. If you don't charge enough for your work, at some point you will have to pay the piper.
See also: pay, piper

call the tune

to have the most power and authority in a situation In this part of the mortgage market, the banks call the tune.
Related vocabulary: call the shots
See also: call, tune

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

something that you say which means that the person who provides the money for something can decide how it should be done You may not agree with Mr Brown but he funded this venture, and he who pays the piper calls the tune.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who

call the tune

Make important decisions, exercise authority, as in Nancy said that it's her turn to call the tune. The full term is Who pays the piper calls the tune, meaning whoever bears the cost of an enterprise should have authority over it. [Late 1800s] Also see the synonym call the shots.
See also: call, tune

pay the piper

see under call the tune.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

To bear the consequences of something.
See also: pay, piper

pay the piper

Be forced to acknowledge and accept an unpleasant consequence of your action. The full expression is “Who pays the piper calls the tune,” which is to say that money calls the shots (“Money makes the mare go” is the same idea). But although a request can be melodious, the phrase came to have an unpleasant connotation, as if the music that the piper produced was not what was anticipated. For example, you tell your supervisor and your colleagues that you can undertake and finish an important assignment in two days, but you can't. As your supervisor takes you to task, you silently admit that you bit off more than you could chew—you're paying the piper.
See also: pay, piper
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