speak of the devil

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speak of the devil

An acknowledgment of a person who has arrived just as or after they were being discussed. (A shortening of the longer proverb, "speak of the devil, and he is sure to/shall/will appear.") A: "Hey everyone, sorry I'm late!" B: "Well, speak of the devil! We were just speaking talking something funny you were saying the other day."
See also: devil, of, speak

talk of the devil

An acknowledgment of a person who has arrived just as or after they were being discussed. (A shortened variation of the longer, more common proverb, "speak of the devil, and he shall/will/is sure to appear.") John: "Hey everyone, sorry I'm late!" Dave: "Well, talk of the devil! I was just telling them about something funny you said the other day."
See also: devil, of, talk

speak of the devil (and in he walks),

 and Talk of the devil (and he is sure to appear).
Prov. Talk about a certain person, and that person appears. (Used when someone appears whom you have just been talking about.) Alan: I haven't seen Bob for weeks. Jane: Look, here comes Bob right now. Alan: Well, talk of the devil. Hi, there. We were just talking about you. speak of the devil and in he walks.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

The person just mentioned has appeared, as in Why, speak of the devil-there's Jeannie. This expression is a shortening of the older Speak of the devil and he's sure to appear, based on the superstition that pronouncing the devil's name will cause his arrival on the scene. The figurative use was already explained in James Kelly's Scottish Proverbs (1721).
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

or

talk of the devil

SPOKEN
People say speak of the devil or talk of the devil if someone they have just been talking about arrives unexpectedly. `Speak of the devil,' she greeted him, smiling. `Well, talk of the devil.' Duncan had wandered up from the beach in red wellies and a duffel coat. Note: This expression comes from the saying `talk of the devil and he will appear'.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak (or talk) of the devil

said when a person appears just after being mentioned.
This phrase stems from the superstition that the devil will manifest himself if his name is spoken.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak/talk of the ˈdevil

(informal, saying) said when somebody who has just been mentioned appears unexpectedly: ‘I haven’t seen Leo for a while.’ ‘Well, speak of the devil, here he is!’
See also: devil, of, speak, talk

speak of the devil

in. said when someone whose name has just been mentioned appears or is heard from. (Cliché.) And speak of the devil, here’s Ted now.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

Now that one mentions that person, he or she turns up. This old proverbial saying is, as John Ciardi pointed out, a leftover from the ancient superstitious belief that pronouncing the devil’s name will cause him to appear. Indeed, the full saying is, Speak of the devil and he’s sure to appear. For primitive peoples, one’s name was an essential part of one’s being, and to speak a name gave one some power over the person named. The roots of the cliché have been largely forgotten, and today it is most often voiced simply when a person one has been talking about unexpectedly appears on the scene.
See also: devil, of, speak

speak of the devil

Acknowledgment of someone's unexpected arrival. The complete expression is “speak of the devil and he will appear,” which is nothing that superstitious people wanted to have happen. As such a cautionary tale, the expression was not used in jest until the late 19th century. That's when responding to an unanticipated appearance with “speak of the devil” lost its dark satanic connotation.
See also: devil, of, speak
References in classic literature ?
He approached at the back of one of the most deeply engaged of the Devil's Row children.
Damn the devil, Flask; do you suppose I'm afraid of the devil? Who's afraid of him, except the old governor who daresn't catch him and put him in double-darbies, as he deserves, but lets him go about kidnapping people; aye, and signed a bond with him, that all the people the devil kidnapped, he'd roast for him?
Agno, chief of the devil devil doctors, had stumbled across him on the beach, and, despite the protestations of the boy who claimed him as personal trove, had ordered him to the canoe house.
Downright English am I, Sir Knight, and downright English was my patron St Dunstan, and scorned oc and oui, as he would have scorned the parings of the devil's hoof downright English alone shall be sung in this cell.''
Long flourish the sandal, the cord, and the cope, The dread of the devil and trust of the Pope; For to gather life's roses, unscathed by the briar, Is granted alone to the Barefooted Friar.
And, talking of the devil, Holy Clerk, are you not afraid that he may pay you a visit daring some of your uncanonical pastimes?''
Two regions of the genome in all three of the devil populations contain SNPs that fit the profile.
The newly approved policy will therefore improve the existing framework to address sustainable management of the devil's claw as well as effective promotion of both biodiversity conservation and human development," he said.
Facial tumors appear around the mouth and face of the devil, with the disease both contagious and fatal.
There are two standard depictions of the devil in the early modern era.
He shows her a rare 15th century Visconti tarot deck, from which the card of the Devil is missing--just as it is missing from every other known copy of the ancient deck.
Just as the filmic figure of the devil tempts Jesus, Gibson tantalizes his audience with images of unceasing bloodshed.
The words God spoke at Jesus' baptism are still ringing in his ears as he enters the wilderness, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." These words and the words from Scripture give Jesus strength as he resists the temptations of the devil.
Dendle's critical focus is narratology, specifically the narrative construction of the devil, which leads him to "approach the texts in terms of internal narrative logic, therefore, attempting to reconstruct the scenes and actions as far as they are explicitly described" (5).