speak of the devil


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Related to speak of the devil: tempting fate

speak of the devil

An acknowledgment of a person who has arrived just as or after they were being discussed. (A shortening of the longer proverb, "speak of the devil, and he is sure to/shall/will appear.") A: "Hey everyone, sorry I'm late!" B: "Well, speak of the devil! We were just speaking talking something funny you were saying the other day."
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil (and in he walks),

 and Talk of the devil (and he is sure to appear).
Prov. Talk about a certain person, and that person appears. (Used when someone appears whom you have just been talking about.) Alan: I haven't seen Bob for weeks. Jane: Look, here comes Bob right now. Alan: Well, talk of the devil. Hi, there. We were just talking about you. speak of the devil and in he walks.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

The person just mentioned has appeared, as in Why, speak of the devil-there's Jeannie. This expression is a shortening of the older Speak of the devil and he's sure to appear, based on the superstition that pronouncing the devil's name will cause his arrival on the scene. The figurative use was already explained in James Kelly's Scottish Proverbs (1721).
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

or

talk of the devil

SPOKEN
People say speak of the devil or talk of the devil if someone they have just been talking about arrives unexpectedly. `Speak of the devil,' she greeted him, smiling. `Well, talk of the devil.' Duncan had wandered up from the beach in red wellies and a duffel coat. Note: This expression comes from the saying `talk of the devil and he will appear'.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak (or talk) of the devil

said when a person appears just after being mentioned.
This phrase stems from the superstition that the devil will manifest himself if his name is spoken.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak/talk of the ˈdevil

(informal, saying) said when somebody who has just been mentioned appears unexpectedly: ‘I haven’t seen Leo for a while.’ ‘Well, speak of the devil, here he is!’
See also: devil, of, speak, talk

speak of the devil

in. said when someone whose name has just been mentioned appears or is heard from. (Cliché.) And speak of the devil, here’s Ted now.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

Acknowledgment of someone's unexpected arrival. The complete expression is “speak of the devil and he will appear,” which is nothing that superstitious people wanted to have happen. As such a cautionary tale, the expression was not used in jest until the late 19th century. That's when responding to an unanticipated appearance with “speak of the devil” lost its dark satanic connotation.
See also: devil, of, speak