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What the deuce?

Sl. What has happened?; What? (Deuce is an old word for devil.) What the deuce! Who are you? What the deuce! Who did this?
See also: what

a (or the) deuce of a —

something very bad or difficult of its kind.
1933 John Galsworthy The End of the Chapter It seems there's a deuce of a fuss in the Bolivian papers.
See also: deuce, of

the deuce to pay

trouble to be expected.
See also: deuce, pay

like the deuce

very fast.
Deuce was first used in 17th-century English in various exclamatory expressions in which it was equated with ‘bad luck’ or ‘mischief’, because in dice-playing two (= deuce) is the lowest and most unlucky throw. From this there soon developed the sense of deuce as ‘the devil’ (i.e. bad luck or mischief personified). Deuce as a euphemism for the devil occurs in a number of expressions, including those above.
See also: deuce, like


1. n. the devil. (Always with the.) I’ll knock the deuce out of you if you come around here again.
2. n. the two in playing cards. If I could only get a deuce.
3. n. two dollars. Can you loan me a deuce till payday?
4. n. a two-year prison sentence. (Underworld.) The DA made sure that Mooshoo got more than a deuce.
5. n. a table for two. Give the next couple the deuce over in the corner.


n. a .22-caliber pistol. (Streets.) My buddy popped his uncle with a deuce-deuce.


n. the number twenty-two. The National Weather Service says it’s going down to the double-deuces tonight.

What the deuce?

interrog. What has happened?; What? (Deuce is an old word for devil.) What the deuce! Who are you?
See also: what

Who the deuce?

interrog. Who? (An elaboration of who. The deuce is the devil. See examples for variations.) Who the deuce do you think you are?
See also: who
References in periodicals archive ?
Deuce was four months old when she competed in her first show.
Deuce knows TJ could not commit these crimes and so heads for Europe to clear his name.
Deuce knows in his heart that TJ could not commit these heinous crimes and so he boards a flight bound for Europe and joins his friend aboard a purple, floating den of inequity named "Pimp Of Da Sea".
Deuce (Rob Schneider) is a male prostitute, who gives up his trade when he marries.
At 5-5, it was Agassi who committed a critical double fault at deuce and Federer converted by surviving a lengthy rally on the next point for the break that led to his third-set triumph.
The Dearborn Deuce was born, engineered, and developed by ASC," says Jim Inglese, one of the principals of Hot Rods & Horsepower (HR & H), a Branford, CT, maker of all-steel 1932 Ford hot rods.
Henman held serve in the next game, although Ketola forced deuce before smashing the ball long and then into the net.
The DEUCE enables light infantry and airborne engineers to prepare airstrips, roads, and protective positions, while keeping pace with the ground forces.
Project Triple Deuce is about to set the world on fire as not only the largest private yacht ever built, coming in at a whopping 222 meters (728.
Players must work with the deuce cards against the dealer to make the best five-card hand possible and possibly win the progressive jackpot, which starts at $5000 and climbs as the game heats up.
Terri Collins owns 5-year-old Deuce, whose registered name is CH Vinelake Collinswood Yablon OA OAJ, and said Deuce is a troublemaker who loves playing in the mud and chasing a giant ball around the yard.
This time, Deuce must don his thong and tassels in a bid to earn enough money to pay for TJ Hicks' lawyer when the latter is accused of murder during a trip to Amsterdam.
She trailed 0-40 in the sixth before coming back to deuce.
Throughout its history, the Joffrey Ballet has prided itself on its ability to move back and forth between the masterpieces of 20th century dance (from Petrouchka to The Green Table) and such new works as Robert Joffrey's Astarte (1967) and Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe (1973), which picked up on the pop vibes of the moment.
The DEUCE is a tough workhorse that needs lots of PM while working in the rough stuff.