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Old December 3rd, 2001, 04:11 PM
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Default 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.
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Old December 3rd, 2001, 04:15 PM
Capt'n Queeg
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Default 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.
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Old December 3rd, 2001, 05:45 PM
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Default 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
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Old December 3rd, 2001, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression

I always thought of the expression of giving your paycheck to the wife! <G>
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Old December 4th, 2001, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Devil to Pay, The Expression

Robo, you would! OO

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!! )

Chyna (proud graduate of Blondie U)
Sensation 12/9/01
Oceanic 5/91
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Old December 4th, 2001, 11:05 AM
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Default 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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