there'll be hell to pay

hell to pay

Very negative or severe consequences. There will be hell to pay if you come home after curfew yet again.
See also: hell, pay

there will be hell to pay

There will be very negative or severe consequences. There will be hell to pay if you come home after curfew yet again.
See also: hell, pay, there, will
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hell to pay

Great trouble, as in If we're wrong there'll be hell to pay. [c. 1800]
See also: hell, pay
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.

there'll be hell to pay

You can say that there'll be hell to pay to warn someone that someone will be very angry if a particular thing happens or if it does not happen. If I forget Nicole's book, there'll be hell to pay. You know what she's like. Next thing she'll find out about that night in Rugby and there'll be hell to pay. Note: In British English, you can also say that there'll be merry hell to pay. `Drop that!' she snarled at Kenny. `If the girls see it, there'll be merry hell to pay!'
See also: hell, pay
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hell to pay

Great trouble: If we're wrong, there'll be hell to pay.
See also: hell, pay
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.

hell to pay, there'll be

The consequences will be terrible; there’ll be a heavy penalty. Originating about 1800, this term once meant discord or severe trouble. The OED quotes a letter by Lord Paget (1807): “There has been hell to pay between the Dukes of York and Cumberland.”
See also: hell
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
These days, anything more than three glasses of Prosecco and you know there'll be hell to pay the following day - usually in the form of small children jumping on your head at 6.30am.
When she threatens to crush him like a bug, blood spatters the walls and it's clear there'll be hell to pay...
So when she finds out he failed to pass on her mail about an internal job interview, there'll be hell to pay.
And if John doesn't stick up for her, there'll be hell to pay.
Plus, Violet and Jamie make secret plans to leave Weatherfield, knowing if Sean finds out, there'll be hell to pay. However, Violet ends up in the Rovers in labour, and with Jamie nowhere to be found, has to call upon Sean and Marcus to help with the delivery.
In fact, I'm so convinced of it I'd like to warn all you gig promoters out there now: if the lilies in the dressing room don't match my anorak, there'll be hell to pay.
Whether we're pontificating about which detergent washes whiter, or arguing over the merits of invading Iraq, we must have our say - or there'll be Hell to pay.
There'll be hell to pay now he's been caught kissing in the street."
Some adventurous-minded student somewhere will take Miles's book as warrant for crossing the line into Christianity, believing that she can bring literary irony with her, and then there'll be hell to pay.
"First, this great and glorious country was built up by political parties; second, parties can't hold together if their workers don't get the offices when they win; third, if the parties go to pieces, the government they built up must go to pieces, too; fourth, then there'll be hell to pay."
And I've a suspicion there'll be hell to pay all round before this saga is played out.
Collins hit back by dubbing Calzaghe a "nobody" and warning: "There'll be hell to pay if you get in the way of my fight with Roy Jones."
CORONATION STREET: There'll be hell to pay when Liz finally finds out the truth behind Jim's outburst at Fiona's wedding.
But Collins hit back furiously dubbing Calzaghe a nobody and warning him: "There'll be hell to pay for if you get in the way of my fight with Roy Jones."
It's like trying to carry a bag of marshmallows with a bomb inside - they're not heavy or big but you know if you drop them there'll be hell to pay. What's worse is she's handed round like some sacred game of pass-the-parcel, people awkwardly trying to make the drop off.
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