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Mermaid December 3rd, 2001 04:11 PM

Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
What you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask...

Devil to Pay - Originally, this expression described one of the unpleasant tasks aboard a wooden ship. The devil was the ship's longest seam in the hull. Caulking was done with pay or pitch (a kind of tar). The task of 'paying the devil' (caulking the longest seam) by squatting in the bilges was one of the worst and most difficult jobs onboard. The term has come to mean a difficult, seemingly impossible task. 'The devil to pay and no hot pitch'. Landlubbers, having no seafaring knowledge, assumed it referred to satan and gave the term a moral interpretation.

Capt'n Queeg December 3rd, 2001 04:15 PM

Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
That also brings up the origin of the expression "Between the Devil and the deep blue sea". It came from the same source.

pamda December 3rd, 2001 05:45 PM

Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
Trust Queeg to know this sort of stuff.

And I have the good luck to be married to him.

Wife of Queeg

Robocop December 3rd, 2001 07:40 PM

Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
I always thought of the expression of giving your paycheck to the wife! <G>
Jim

Chyna_c December 4th, 2001 10:34 AM

Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
Robo, you would! LOLOLOLOLOL

I always thought it just meant someone was going to give you loads of trouble because you did something. lol (I learned something new today too...will wonders never cease!! LOL)

Chyna (proud graduate of Blondie U)
Sensation 12/9/01
Oceanic 5/91

SeaFan December 4th, 2001 11:05 AM

Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression
 
Great information Mermaid, I never knew what the expression meant. Thanks for sharing this knowledge with us. We had always used the term paying the devil its dues.


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