Devil's Den to Diamond Jousts
Devil's Den A cromlech in a valley, near Marlborough. It now consists of two large uprights and an impost. The third upright has fallen. Some of the farm labourers, a few years ago, fastened a team of horses to the impost, and tried, but without effect, to drag it down.
Devil's Dust Old rags torn up by a machine called the "devil," and made into shoddy by gum and pressure. Mr. Ferrand brought the subject before Parliament, March 4th, 1842. It is so called from the dishonesty and falsehood which it covers. (Latimer's Sermons.)
Devil's Dyke (The). A ravine in the South Downs, Brighton. The legend is, that St. Cuthman, walking on the downs, plumed himself on having Christianised the surrounding country, and having built a nunnery where the dyke-house now stands. Presently the Devil appears and tells him all his labour is vain, for he would swamp the whole country before morning. St. Cuthman went to the nunnery and told the abbess to keep the sisters in prayer till after mid-night, and then illuminate the windows. The Devil came at sunset with mattock and spade, and began cutting a dyke into the sea, but was seized with rheumatic pains all over the body. He flung down his mattock and spade, and the cocks, mistaking the illuminated windows for sunrise, began to crow; whereupon the Devil fled in alarm, leaving his work not half done.
Devil's Four-Poster (The). A hand at whist with four clubs. It is said that such a hand is never a winning one.
Devil's Frying-pan (The). A Cornish tin-mine worked by the Romans.
Devil's Livery (The). Black and yellow. Black for death, yellow for quarantine.
Devil's Luck (The). Astounding good luck. Persons always lucky were thought at one time to have
compounded with the Devil.
"You won't have to pay his annuity very long; you have the Devil's luck in bargains, always." -Devil's Mass (The). Swearing at everybody and everything.
"Whin a bad egg is shut av the army, he says the devil's mass ... an' manes svearin' at ivrything from the commandher-in-chief down to the room-corp'ril." - Soldiers Three, p. 95Devil's Nostrils (The). Two vast caverns separated by a huge pillar of natural rock in the mainland of the Zetland Islands. (See The Pirate, chap. xxii.)
Devil's Own (CONNAUGHT BOYS.) The 88th Foot. So called by General Picton from their bravery in
the Peninsular War, 1809-1814.
Devil's Paternoster (To say the). To grumble; to rail at providence.
Devil's Snuff-box (The). A puff-ball; a fungus full of dust; one of the genus Lycoperdon.
Devil's Tattoo (The). Tapping on the table with one's finger a wearisome number of times; tapping on the floor with one's foot in a similar manner; repeating any sound with wearisome pertinacity, giving those who hear the "blue devils" or the "fidgets."
Devil's Throat (The). Cromer Bay. So called from its danger to navigation.
Devils (in Dante's Divine Comedy):
Devonshire according to English mythology, is a corruption of Debon's-share. This Debon was one of the heroes who came with Brute from Troy. One of the giants that he slew in the south coasts of
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