The devil to pay

What does "The devil to pay" mean?

Today it means: Serious trouble ahead.

The "devil" is the longest seam (joint) on the outside beam of a boat and needed repacking with oakum and pitch to stop it leaking. It was also the hardest to do. "Pay" comes from the French piox and mean pitch. Sailors would use the term to describe their mis-fortune of having to carry out this task. He would have the devil to pay!

See also: Between the devil and the deep blue sea   

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

Reviews and comments

No reviews or comments on "The devil to pay" yet.
If you can see a problem or you want to add something to our explanation or you just want to let us know what you think, then click on the pen and papar icon above.

There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "The devil to pay" is just one of them. Many have been around for years and have entered our everyday use; but do you know what they mean and where they came from? This is where you find out.

Nautical sayings and phrases

Why not use our sailing quiz to build your understanding of sailing terms and boat trivia whilst you tackle the questions designed to help you pass your next sailing course.

Try our Free Sailing Quiz

What does The devil to pay mean?

What is the nautical origin of the phrase "The devil to pay"?

Definition of the nautical phrase "The devil to pay".

SailingQuiz Works on: All platforms
Rated: 4 stars - 46 reviews.

Review SailingQuiz

Advertising for sailing professionals | SailingQuiz 0,