phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Devil's advocate

Posted by Andrew Powell on May 04, 2003

In Reply to: Devil's advocate posted by ESC on May 04, 2003

: : Hi I have the saying "playing the devils advocate", I've heard people use when they decides to mention something from another less popular side of a discussion that no one else wants to talk about. Sorry I can't think of an example of it.

: I don't agree totally with the Morris definition. In my opinion, the devil's advocate is similar taking an opposing side "just for the sake of argument" or for the purpose of presenting and examining all sides of a subject.

: DEVIL'S ADVOCATE - "originated in Roman Catholicism. A candidate for sainthood would be represented before the papal court by two spokesmen, the 'advocatus diaboli' (devil's advocate), who would present every conceivable argument against canonization or beatification, and the 'advocatus dei,' who would make as strong a case as possible in favor of canonization. Nowadays the term is widely used to describe any person who is usually found on the wrong or losing side in any controversy, especially one who takes such positions out of sheer cantankerousness." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

: Yeah ok; that's kind of what I meant, it does have to be less popular, another side to the discussion just to add more depth. like you said "just for the sake of argument," thats what the people how used it said. Thanks for the reply.