give the devil his due


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Related to give the devil his due: without a hitch

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.
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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
References in periodicals archive ?
The 40-hectare site upon which the Nazis built also dealt with the human condition, but the sign over the front gate at Buchenwald urged all to "Give the devil his due."
STURBRIDGE - You've got to give the devil his due when he's as fiendishly entertaining as Neal Martel is in Stageloft Theater's peppy staging of "Damn Yankees."
To give the devil his due, so to speak, there is a sense in which a broad spectrum of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and others share many moderate to progressive humanistic values--and that, of course, drives people like LaHaye up the wall.
To give the devil his due, the book is some help--it's better than nothing.
Chesterton, Father Neuhaus always seems to give the devil his due. Never one for quick dismissals, Neuhaus presents cant-free remarks on all of the figures he mentions - even men as seemingly antithetical to Neuhaus's conservatism as Michel Foucault.