piper


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Related to piper: pied piper

call the tune

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. The phrase is a shortened version of "Who pays the piper calls the tune," which means that the person who pays for something assumes control over it. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call the tune here! Mom calls the tune for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, tune

he who pays the piper calls the tune

proverb The person who pays for something will or should dictate how something should be done. At the end of the day, though, their company is paying for the study, and he who pays the piper calls the tune.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who

pay the piper

To face, accept, or suffer repercussions for one's actions or words, especially those that would be expected to incur punishment. After three nights of heavy drinking, I'm really going to be paying the piper come Monday morning! With the judge handing down the maximum possible sentence, this monster will be paying the piper for the rest of his life.
See also: pay, piper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Prov. If you are paying for someone's services, you can dictate exactly what you want that person to do. When Mrs. Dalton told the artist what she wanted her portrait to look like, the artist cringed to think that anyone could have such bad taste. Still, he who pays the piper calls the tune, and Mrs. Dalton got what she wanted.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who

pay the piper

Fig. to face the results of one's actions; to receive punishment for something. You can put off paying your debts only so long. Eventually you'll have to pay the piper. You can't get away with that forever. You'll have to pay the piper someday.
See also: pay, piper
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

call the tune

Make important decisions, exercise authority, as in Nancy said that it's her turn to call the tune. The full term is Who pays the piper calls the tune, meaning whoever bears the cost of an enterprise should have authority over it. [Late 1800s] Also see the synonym call the shots.
See also: call, tune

pay the piper

see under call the tune.
See also: pay, piper
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

he who pays the piper calls the tune

People say he who pays the piper calls the tune to mean that the person who pays for something has the right to decide what it will be like. He who pays the piper calls the tune. It's important our customers have a real say on the balance between demands for improved services and increasing charges. Note: People often vary this expression. If these countries are to pay the piper, they will expect at least some say in his choice of tune. They had a strong tendency to call the tune without paying the piper. Compare with call the tune. Note: This may come from the custom, dating back to the 17th century, of hiring travelling musicians to play at festivals and weddings. The people who paid for the music were able to choose the tunes they wanted to hear.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who

call the tune

COMMON If someone calls the tune, they are in control of a situation and make all the important decisions. If managers tried to get players to come back in the afternoon they'd have a riot on their hands. The players call the tune these days. Whether you're talking plant-breeding or choice of seed, supermarkets call the tune. Note: This expression comes from the proverb `he who pays the piper calls the tune'.
See also: call, tune
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pay the piper

pay the cost of an enterprise. informal
This expression comes from the proverb he who pays the piper calls the tune , and is used with the implication that the person who has paid expects to be in control of whatever happens.
See also: pay, piper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

he who pays the ˌpiper calls the ˈtune

(saying) the person who provides the money for something has the right to say how it should be spent; the person with power makes the decisions: The Rockefeller Foundation helps the project financially, and they have the right to say ‘no’ to any part of it. He who pays the piper...
A piper is a musician who plays a pipe or the bagpipes. The person who hires them can choose what songs they play.
See also: call, he, pay, piper, tune, who
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pay the piper

To bear the consequences of something.
See also: pay, piper
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pay the piper, to

To bear the cost. This term refers to the musician who provides entertainment and the host’s obligation to pay him or her. “Always those that dance must pay the musicke” is an early version of the current term used by John Taylor (Taylor’s Feast, 1638). A late nineteenth-century addition was that he who does pay should call the tune—that is, the person who bears the cost may choose just what he or she is paying for. “I am going to pay the piper and call the tune,” wrote Shaw (Major Barbara, 1905).
See also: pay, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

pay the piper

Be forced to acknowledge and accept an unpleasant consequence of your action. The full expression is “Who pays the piper calls the tune,” which is to say that money calls the shots (“Money makes the mare go” is the same idea). But although a request can be melodious, the phrase came to have an unpleasant connotation, as if the music that the piper produced was not what was anticipated. For example, you tell your supervisor and your colleagues that you can undertake and finish an important assignment in two days, but you can't. As your supervisor takes you to task, you silently admit that you bit off more than you could chew—you're paying the piper.
See also: pay, piper
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Piper and I are a unique thing going on," Edwards said.
When everything had been accomplished and Piper was ready to travel to Poland, her Cathay Pacific flight was cancelled due to the damaged runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
In the meantime, Mr Piper arranged for the Car to be repaired in Germany by Mr Nitsche, a specialist and former chief mechanic for the Porsche factory where the Porsche 917 was built.
In an impact statement the owner said the episode had affected her health and worst was that Piper had defecated against walls, the stairs, bedding and carpets.
The great-granny has knitted hundreds of pipers and drummers - and even whole pipe bands that sell for PS400 a set.
Thus does the unknown speaker in a comic fragment express the close connection between communal drinking and the female piper. (10) This idea--where there is wine, so there should be the music of the aulos--is not unique.
She was predeceased by a niece, Debra Pimental, and a nephew, Kevin Piper.
“She'll appreciate a piece from Piper P.”
Piper, now nine months old, is waiting for a sixhour op to put the organs in her body and have muscle stretched over them to keep them in place.
THE legend of the Pied Piper gets an innovative overhaul when it's relocated to Liverpool in a new production by Burjesta Theatre.
The Leica Piper series of pipe lasers are perfect for storm and sanitary sewer construction, gravity flow pipe line and anywhere grade and line are required with a single beam.
In 1943 the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts sponsored an exhibition called 'The Artist and the Church', with John Piper as curator.