have the devil to pay

have the devil to pay

 and have hell to pay
Inf. to have a great deal of trouble. (Use hell with caution.) If you cheat on your income taxes, you'll have the devil to pay. I came home after three in the morning and had hell to pay.
See also: devil, have, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
The sentence suggested that those who didn't toe the line would "truly have the devil to pay .
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