the devil to pay


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the devil to pay

serious trouble to be expected.
This expression refers to the bargain formerly supposed to be made between magicians and the devil, the former receiving extraordinary powers or wealth in return for their souls.
See also: devil, pay

ˈhell/the ˈdevil to pay

(informal) a lot of trouble: There’ll be hell to pay when your father sees that broken window.
See also: devil, hell, pay

the devil to pay

Trouble to be faced as a result of an action: There'll be the devil to pay if you allow the piglets inside the house.
See also: devil, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
I also discuss the early critical reaction to The Devil to Pay in the Backlands.
She was signed up by Sam Goldwyn for The Devil to Pay, but was replaced by Loretta Young.
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.
Except for writing the seven stories in Corpo de baile (1956; "Corps de Ballet"), he devoted the next several years to diplomacy and the creation of his monumental epic novel, Grande sertao: veredas (1956; The Devil to Pay in the Backlands), which firmly established his international reputation.
The sentence suggested that those who didn't toe the line would "truly have the devil to pay .
These to the printer," I exclaimed, And, in my humorous way, I added (as a trifling jest), "There'll be the devil to pay.
Of course, there's the devil to pay, but when they're in love, even the darkest forces can't keep determined lovers apart-or athwart-for long
SOME church leaders warn that there will be the devil to pay unless we ban Hallowe'en.
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