be a devil

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English[edit]

Interjection[edit]

be a devil

  1. (Britain, informal) Used to encourage someone to do something when they are unsure whether they should.
    • 1967, Encounter - Volume 29, page 95:
      Just after a woman announcer had read the weather forecast before the BBC's 10 o'clock radio news last night a man was heard to say: “Go on. Be a devil. Give us a bit." The BBC was inundated with calls and letters wishing the happy couple every happiness in their future together.
    • 1987, Susan Musgrave, The Dancing Chicken: A Novel, page 48:
      You don't need to lose any, but try it. Be a devil.
    • 1995, Freda Bream, Sealed and Despatched, page 107:
      I used to say to him, “Wouldn't you care for a sandwich just today, Mr Main? Come on, be a devil. Strike new ground. '

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