devil for

devil (someone or something) for (something)

To bother someone or something for something. Janie has been deviling me for candy all day, even though she knows she's not allowed to have any until after dinner.
See also: devil, for
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

devil (someone or an animal) for something

Fig. to bother or harass someone or an animal for something. The child kept deviling her mother for an ice-cream cone. The kittens continued to devil the mother cat for their dinner.
See also: devil, for
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Every good Christian must desire there should be a devil for the punishment of such wretches."--"Harkee, landlord," said the serjeant, "don't abuse the cloth, for I won't take it."--"D--n the cloth!" answered the landlord, "I have suffered enough by them."--"Bear witness, gentlemen," says the serjeant, "he curses the king, and that's high treason."--"I curse the king!
I know the villain's out of service, and so hungry, that I know he would give his soul to the devil for a shoulder of mutton, though it were blood-raw.
While defending himself in court, Abdallah blamed the devil for making him commit the crime, saying he was a good person.
Andrew Sharman, Manager of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, a joint federal and Tasmanian government initiative, said the aim of the first release of devils onto Maria Island is to observe and monitor the role that devils play in the landscape and the ecology of the area and the impact their introduction has on other native species which have not encountered the devil for many generations.
But Australian biologist Nick Mooney, 51, who has studied the Tasmanian devil for more than 25 years, is not alone when it comes to having fond appreciation for the beady-eyed, terrier-sized creature.
People say "the Devil made me do it" but no one ever applauds the Devil for his tireless work.
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