talk of the devil, and he is bound to appear

talk of the devil, and he is bound to appear
Also abbreviated to talk of the Devil!, used when a person just spoken of is suddenly seen.

1666 G. TORRIANO Italian Proverbs 134 The English say, Talk of the Devil, and he’s presently at your elbow.

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 299 Speak of the Dee’l, and he’ll appear. Spoken when they, of whom we are speaking, come in by Chance.

1773 R. GRAVES Spiritual Quixote II. VIII. V. ‘How free he had made with the Devil’s name.’.. ‘Talk of the Devil, and he will appear.’

1830 MARRYAT King’s Own II. V. The unexpected appearance of Mrs. Rainscourt made him involuntarily exclaim, ‘Talk of the devil—’ ‘And she appears, Sir,’ replied the lady.

1979 Radio Times 27 Oct.-2 Nov. 66 Talk of the Devil..and he’s bound to appear, they say.

2001 R. HILL Dialogues of Dead xiii. 107 ‘Talk of the devil, there he is. How do, Your Lordship! Who’s looking after the maggots?’

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