The devil take the hindmost

Posted by ESC on August 15, 2000

In Reply to: "May the devil take the high note" posted by Bob on August 15, 2000

: : Anyone know the origin/meaning of this one. It was given at a toast the other day and when I questioned the individual about it he said it was in his family for many years

: It sounds like a misunderstanding of "the devil take the hindmost" ... meaning, let's get out of here, and don't be last in line.

If it's a mistake, don't tell them. I really like that -- may the devil take the high note.

THE DEVIL TAKE THE HINDMOST - "To hell with the unfortunate. The proverb is found in print as early as 1620 in 'Philaster' by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. First attested in the United States in 'Colonial Record of Georgia . It is part of the proverb 'Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).