devil take the hindmost

A shortened version of every man for himself, and devil take the hindmost. A Latin version of this sentiment is HORACE Ars Poetica 417 occupet extremum scabies, may the itch take the one who is last.

1620 BEAUMONT & FLETCHER Philaster V. i. What if..they run all away, and cry the Devil take the hindmost.

1725 DEFOE Everybody’s Business 29 In a few years the navigation..will be entirely obstructed... Every one of these gentlemen-watermen hopes it will last his time, and so they all cry, the Devil take the hindmost.

1824 Tales of American Landlord I. ix. The troops..hurried away..with a precipitation which seemed to say ‘De’il tak the hindmost.’

1953 P. GALLICO Foolish Immortals vii. Hannah grew up in..a land of unlimited resources and opportunity for acquiring them and let the devil take the hindmost.

2002 Times 22 Feb. 24 And Devil take the hindmost. In a better world than the infernal Circle Line, women and children first is still a noble sentiment.


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  • devil take the hindmost — Take care of yourself and never mind about others • • • Main Entry: ↑devil * * * (the) devil take the hindmost proverb everyone should (or does) look after their own interests rather than considering those of others full speed ahead and the devil …   Useful english dictionary

  • devil take the hindmost — noun → miss and out. {from the phrase (the) devil take the hindmost. See hindmost (def. 2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • devil take the hindmost —    This expression means that you should think of yourself and not worry about other people.     When the boat capsized it was a case of the devil take the hindmost , but luckily they all survived …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • devil take the hindmost —  So much the worse for whatever or whoever is unfortunate enough to be victim, or to come last, etc …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • devil take the hindmost — each person follows his self interest and leaves others go as they may; last one loses …   English contemporary dictionary

  • (the) devil take the hindmost — phrase used for talking about a situation where people do only what is best for themselves and do not care what happens to other people Thesaurus: selfish, greedy and not generoussynonym Main entry: devil …   Useful english dictionary

  • (the) devil take the hindmost — (let) the devil take the hindmost old fashioned something that you say to mean that you should only think about yourself and your own success and not care about other people. You ve got to be tough to survive in this business grab what you can… …   New idioms dictionary

  • the Devil take the hindmost — Meaning Origin Samuel Butler. 1600 1680. And bid the devil take the hin most. Canto ii. Line 633 …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • every man for himself, and devil take the hindmost — The two earliest examples are more closely aligned in form to the following proverb (every man for himself, and God for us all). See also devil take the hindmost. 1530 A. BARCLAY Eclogues (EETS) I. 1009 Eche man for him selfe, and the fiende for… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • let the devil take the hindmost — (let) the devil take the hindmost old fashioned something that you say to mean that you should only think about yourself and your own success and not care about other people. You ve got to be tough to survive in this business grab what you can… …   New idioms dictionary

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