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 ?
Certain books say you'll have the devil to pay when you want to move the baby into a crib, but Cassie and I handled Sean the same way, and you slowly wean them out of the big bed.
The sentence suggested that those who didn't toe the line would "truly have the devil to pay .
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