Tag Archive | dues

Idiom: He will give the Devil his due

Meaning

Literally, pay the devil what you owe him. Used figuratively to mean ‘give back what you owe’, either money or favours.

Origin

From Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1, 1597:

Constable: I will cap that proverb with ‘There is flattery in friendship.’
Orleans: And I will take up that with ‘Give the devil his due.’

Via http://www.phrases.org.uk

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