(in) the devil(redirected from who the devil)
(in) the devil
Used as an intensifier after a question word (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to express extreme confusion, surprise, or aggravation. And just how the devil am I supposed to have three reports done by 9 AM tomorrow? Where in the devil did you find that rusty old car? Who the devil is making all that noise?
1. Particularly difficult, arduous, or unpleasant. My husband's handwriting is the devil to read. This cake is always the devil to get out of the pan, so it always ends up looking like a mess by the time I'm done.
2. The brunt of another's anger, scorn, or wrath. Usually used after the verb "catch." If I get home past curfew again, I'm really going to catch the devil from my parents!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
What (in) the devil?and What (in) the dickens?
Inf. What has happened?; What? (Often with the force of an exclamation.) What in the devil? Who put sugar in the salt shaker? What the dickens? Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
What the devil?and What the fuck?; What the hell?; What the shit?
What has happened?; What? (Often with the force of an exclamation. What the fuck? and What the shit? are taboo.) What the devil? Who put sugar in the salt shaker? What the fuck? Who are you? What are you doing in my room? What the shit are you doing here? You're supposed to be at work.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
the ˈdevil(old-fashioned) very difficult or unpleasant: These berries are the devil to pick because they’re so small.
who, what, where, etc. the ˈdevil...(old-fashioned, informal) used in questions for showing that you are annoyed or surprised: Who the devil are you? ♢ Where the devil have I put my glasses?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
What (in) the devil?
interrog. What has happened?; What? (Often with the force of an exclamation.) What the devil? Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
What the devil?verb
Who in the devil?verb
See also: who
Who the devil?verb
See also: who
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.