be a devil
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- (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. '
- “be a devil”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- “be a devil”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
- “be a devil” in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Longman.
- “be a devil” (UK) in Macmillan English Dictionary.