Idiom – Speak Of The Devil

English 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!”

In The News:

Speak of the Devil! Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley have Bedazzled reunion at Whale screening


  • 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.

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FunkyEnglish is a website that helps you improve your English. We offer quick lessons that teach idiomsslangphrasal verbs and more. Visit our homepage to see our latest articles, or use the menu to find specific content!

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