- Idiom – Speak of the devil or Talk of the devil
- Meaning – This expression is used when a person being talked about suddenly appears. This idiom can also be used when an object being talked about suddenly becomes relevant.
- The complete phrase is Speak of the devil and he will appear. A long time ago people believed that if you spoke about the devil you would invite bad luck.
Other expressions featuring the devil:
- Better the devil you know (idiom) – Something bad and familiar is better than something bad and unknown.
- Between the devil and the deep blue sea (idiom) – To be in a situation where you have to choose between two bad things.
- Crafty devil – A devious or cunning person.
- Devil’s advocate (idiom) – To argue against an idea or argument – even if you are in favour of it – for the sake of debate or to better understand the opposing point of view.
- Devil-may-care – To have a devil-may-care attitude is to be relaxed and without worry.
- Handsome devil – This expression is used to describe somebody very handsome, but probably too charming or mischievous in some way.
- Idle hands are the devil’s tools (idiom) – When you have nothing to do you are more likely to get in trouble.
- Lucky devil – Used to describe someone who is very fortunate.
- The devil (slang) – This expression can be used to make a statement stronger. What the devil are you talking about?
When could you use this idiom?
- When someone you are talking about suddenly arrives.
- If you are gossiping about a person and they are approaching.
- When you are discussing an event (like a change in the weather) and the event suddenly becomes relevant (it starts to rain).
- “Did you know that Jack has left his wife? Speak of the devil! Here comes Jack!”
- Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?
An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally. An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.