Supper with the devil . . .
cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Apr 22 14:03:01 UTC 2010
I have just returned from a distant conference, and I'm catching up on last week's e-mail.
In response to Victor's and Mark's notations about the proverb "He who sups with the devil must have a long spoon":
The proverb goes back at least as far as the 14th century; it appears in Chaucer's Squire's Tale: "'Therefore bihoveth hire a ful long spooon / That shal ete with a feend,' thus herde I seye."
---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:44:14 -0400
>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf of Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>)
>"Who sups [or Who would sup] with the Devil must needs use a long spoon".
>IIRC, I first encountered this in Margery Allingham's *The Tiger in the
>Smoke. *One of the characters uses the expression with respect to dealing
>with a very dangerous character (the title character, in fact); and a later
>chapter, again iirc, is called "The Long Spoon".
>m a m
>On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 9:50 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Part I.
>> An entirely different list from a similar collection. This one is
>> Skeat's Nine Specimens of English Dialects (1896). At the end, there is
>> a collection of Yorkshire proverbs. I thought a few a worth a look. The
>> list was taken from Francis Brokesby's pieve on the Yorkshire dialect.
>> [parenthetical comments in the original; there are 94 entries in all]
>> He mun heve a lang-Shafted speaun that sups kail with the Devil.
>> Feel free to quibble with my selection--it was not meant to be inspired.
>> I just thought I'd share a find.
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