Thursday, July 13, 2006

Heeeeere's Lucifer!

I'm in my father's hospital room. He's asleep. I've met with one of his doctors; now I'm waiting on another to discuss where we go from here. My father's nurse comes in to check one of his myriad of machines and asks if I've seen the second doctor yet. Just then, the doctor in question walks into the room, so, of course, I say

speak of the devil
The person just mentioned has appeared. This expression is a shortening of the older Speak of the devil and he's sure to appear, based on the superstition that pronouncing the devil's name will cause his arrival on the scene. The figurative use was already explained in James Kelly's Scottish Proverbs (1721).
"Speak of the Devil." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. 13 Jul. 2006.