Speak of the Devil: Origin and Meaning
This phrase is very old and can be seen in a lot of Latin and Old English texts. It is used to acknowledge the coincidence of someone arriving just at the time that you are talking about them. It does not have a serious meaning and is a funny way to refer to a person’s appearance. It first appeared in Giovanni Torriano’s Piazza Universale in 1666. The original phrase changed from the 19th century and became a warning against eavesdropping.
– “Did you hear what happened to Mark today – oh speak of the devil, here she is!”
– “Have you seen Tom today? Oh, speak of the devil, here he comes!”