there will be hell to 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, to, will
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

There will be hell to pay.

 and There will be the devil to pay.
Inf. There will be a lot of trouble if something is done or if something is not done. (See also have the devil to pay.) Fred: If you break another window, Andy, there will be hell to pay. Andy: I didn't do it! I didn't. Bill: I'm afraid there's no time to do this one. I'm going to skip it. Bob: There will be hell to pay if you do. Bill broke a window, and now there will be the devil to pay.
See also: hell, pay, there, to, will
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

there will be hell to pay

serious trouble will occur as a result of a previous action. informal
See also: hell, pay, there, to, will
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

There will be hell to pay

sent. Things will be so bad that one will have to bribe the devil to straighten them out. (Use caution with hell.) If I don’t get this done on time, there will be hell to pay.
See also: hell, pay, there, to, will
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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