Talk of the devil | jy.catholic.org.hk

   |     | 

首頁 > Stories behind famous saysings  


Talk of the devil

刊登日期: 2017.11.11
作者: Grace Tse  

When you are chatting with your friend about another person who is not there, suddenly that person appears. 

A: I think we should ask John to lead our new project group. 

B: Yes, I agree. He is a good leader. [John unexpectedly appears.] 

A: Oh, talk of the devil! Hi John, we were just talking about you. 

The expression “talk of the devil” is the short version of the Latin(拉丁文)proverb “talk of the devil and he will appear” which originated in the Middle Ages(中世紀). 

While this expression is used in a jokey and light-hearted manner nowadays, it was considered as a superstitious warning against mentioning the name of the devil several hundred years ago. According to Christianity(基督宗教), the devil is the enemy of God and human beings. In old times, people believed that if they said the devil’s name, the devil would bring them danger and bad luck. 

The earliest printed version was recorded by the Italian writer, Giovanni Torriano, in his book on Italian proverbs in 1666. 

“The English say, Talk of the Devil, and he’s presently at your elbow.” 

Nowadays, another common version of “talk of the devil” is “speak of the devil”. 

Speak of the devil. Here comes Oliver. 

Interestingly, some other languages express this idiom in different ways. Greek(希臘)use “donkey”. Chinese use the name of a famous statesman in history. Do you know who he was? The answer is: 

說曹操,曹操到(literally means “talk of Cao Cao, and Cao Cao comes” ) 


Glossary

Chatting 

聊天

Proverb 

諺語

Jokey 

開玩笑的

Light-hearted 

輕鬆的

Superstitious 

迷信的

Devil 

魔鬼

Statesman 

政治家

Literally 

字面意義

 

  COPYRIGHT KUNG KAO PO ALL RIGHTS RESERVED  版權所有.不得轉載 聯絡我們 | 使用條款 | 私隱條款 | 免責聲明