(in) the devil

(redirected from why 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?
See also: devil

the devil

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.
See also: devil

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?
See also: what

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.
See also: what

the ˈdevil

(old-fashioned) very difficult or unpleasant: These berries are the devil to pick because they’re so small.
See also: devil

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?

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?
See also: what

What the devil?

verb
See also: what

Who in the devil?

verb
See also: who

Who the devil?

verb
See also: who
References in classic literature ?
"Then why the devil don't you see that he doesn't get too much?" the newcomer said sharply.
"Why the devil is all the regiment to know that I am going to be married?
He looked round gloomily at his eldest daughter; who, comprehending the meaning of his look, which asked unmistakably, "Why the devil is she here?" said at once:
Why the devil should you be vexed if I make use of what is my own?
"Why the devil do you stop with a man like Wingrave?
"Was ever anything like it?" says the mistress; "why the devil would you not keep some of the best rooms for the quality, when you know scarce a day passes without some calling here?
Rattray from me why the devil he led me to suppose you were deaf and dumb?
But since you possess that virtue, why the devil don't you make use of it with respect to her Majesty?
"Why the devil does that foolish girl, who pretends to wish to speak to me, not come into my study?
"Why the devil," Archer explosively continued, "should you have thought--since I suppose you're appealing to me on the ground of my relationship to Madame Olenska--that I should take a view contrary to the rest of her family?"
"Why the devil lose your patience, Betteredge, when patience is all that's wanted to arrive at the truth?
"But why the devil dost thou run about the tops of houses at seven o'clock of the morning in the month of January?"
"Why the devil don't I drop dead now?" I asked myself peevishly, taking a clean handkerchief out of the drawer and stuffing it in my pocket.
Why the devil didn't that villain, Bududreen, come!
So now that I have you seriously thinking about the "undercover" neurological factors that are stifling innovation in your organisations, can you see why the devil's advocate role is key?