give the devil his/her due

give the devil his/her due

To acknowledge the good in someone who is otherwise regarded unfavorably. That guy annoys me, but he is a hard worker—I have to give the devil his due.
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

 and give the devil her due
Fig. to give your foe proper credit (for something). (This usually refers to a person who has been evil-like the devil.) She's very messy in the kitchen, but I have to give the devil her due. She bakes a terrific cherry pie. John is a bit too nosy, but he keeps his yard clean and is a kind neighbor. I'll give the devil his due.
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

Give credit to what is good in a disagreeable or disliked person. For example, I don't like John's views on education, but give the devil his due, he always has something important to say , or I don't like what the new management has done, but give the devil his due, sales have improved . [Late 1500s]
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

if someone or something generally considered bad or undeserving has any redeeming features these should be acknowledged. proverb
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

To give credit to a disagreeable or malevolent person.
See also: devil, due, give

give the devil his due

Even the bad may deserve some credit. This expression dates from the sixteenth century and was in print by 1589, in Pappe with an Hatchet, possibly by John Lyly (“Giue them their due though they were diuels”). Shakespeare used it in several plays, as did John Fletcher, John Dryden, and others. It was a cliché by the time Mark Twain wrote “We must give even Satan his due” (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, 1889).
See also: devil, due, give