Get your own copy of this book on Amazon

Devil (Grose 1811 Dictionary)

Devil

A printer’s errand-boy. Also a small thread in the king’s ropes and cables, whereby they may be distinguished from all others. The Devil himself; a small streak of blue thread in the king’s sails. The Devil may dance in his pocket; i.e. he has no money: the cross on our ancient coins being jocularly supposed to prevent him from visiting that place, for fear, as it is said, of breaking his shins against it. To hold a candle to the Devil; to be civil to any one out of fear: in allusion to the story of the old woman, who set a wax taper before the image of St. Michael, and another before the Devil, whom that saint is commonly represented as trampling under his feet: being reproved for paying such honour to Satan, she answered, as it was uncertain which place she should go to, heaven or hell, she chose to secure a friend in both places. That will be when the Devil is blind, and he has not got sore eyes yet; said of any thing unlikely to happen. It rains whilst the sun shines, the Devil is beating his wife with a shoulder of mutton: this phenomenon is also said to denote that cuckolds are going to heaven; on being informed of this, a loving wife cried out with great vehemence, ‘Run, husband, run!’

The Devil was sick, the Devil a monk would be;

The Devil was well, the Devil a monk was he.

a proverb signifying that we are apt to forget promises made in time of distress. To pull the Devil by the tail, to be reduced to one’s shifts. The Devil go with you and sixpence, and then you will have both money and company.

Definition taken from The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose.

Derrick * Devil-1

Nearby

Nathan Bailey's 1736 Dictionary of canting and thieving slang

John S. Farmer's collection of canting songs and slang rhymes

Death Hunter
Death’s Head upon a Mop-stick
Deep-one
Deft Fellow
Degen
Dells
Demure
Demy-rep
Derby
Derrick
Devil
Devil-1
Devil’s Books
Devil Catcher
Devil’s Daughter
Devil’s Daughter’s Portion
Devil Drawer
Devil’s Dung
Devil’s Guts
Devilish
Deusea Ville