talk of the devil
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Related to talk of the devil: tempting fate
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."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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!’
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
- speak of the devil, and he appears
- talk of the devil, and he is bound to appear
- talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear
- talk of the devil, and he shall appear
- talk of the devil, and he will appear
- speak of the devil, and he is sure to appear
- speak of the devil, and he shall appear
- speak of the devil, and he will appear
- speak/talk of the devil
- speak of the devil