lupus in fabula

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From lupus (wolf) + in (in) + fābulā (story, tale, ablative sg.).



lupus in fābulā

  1. (idiomatic) talk of the devil, speak of the devil and he shall appear
    • Pompeius, Commentum in Artis Donati partem tertiam in Heinrich Keil, Grammatici Latini 5.311.31K:
      Puta dē nescioquō loquēbāris et subitō venit is, dīcis tū, "lupus in fābulā!"
      Say, you were talking about somebody or other, and all of a sudden that person comes, then you say: "talk of the devil!"
    • 106 BCE – 43 BCE, Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum 13.33.1:
      Dē Varrōne loquēbāmur. Lupus in fābulā: vēnit enim ad mē [...]
      We were talking about Varro the other day. Speak of the devil: he arrived at my place [...]
    Synonym: lupus in sermōne