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EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions.

It’s actually a shortened idiom. The entire idiom is, “The devil may care, but I do not.”


devil-may-care ‎(comparative more devil-may-care, superlative most devil-may-care)

  1. Carefree, reckless, irresponsible.
    • 1837, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, ch. 49:
      Not that this would have worried him much, anyway—he was a mighty free and easy, roving, devil-may-care sort of person.
    • 1910, Jeffery Farnol, The Broad Highway, ch. 3:
      Now, upon his whole person, from the crown of his unkempt head down to his broken, dusty boots, there yet clung that air of jaunty, devil-may-care rakishness.
    • 2011 May 21, Altin Raxhimi, "The Trouble with Democracy: Albania's Worrisome Vote," Time:
      Tiny Albania emerged from communist dictatorship in 1990 only to tumble into a rough world of gangsters, fraudulent financial machinations and incompetent governance, exacerbated by lawless capitalism and devil-may-care politics.