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  1. #1
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Default Let the devil make a twin

    Can someone explain this sentence to me?
    Is it an idiom? Some kind of a saying?
    I can't find it in any dictionary.

    "A little man volunteered to stay and hold the camp while the others went for supplies. "There is only one of you - let the devil make a twin," they said as they left."

    I can only guess that they want some supernatural power to help a little man with guarding the camp.

  2. #2
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
    SlickVic9000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Let the devil make a twin

    (Not a Teacher)

    I've never heard this expression and this thread is at the top of the results of a Google search on it. So evidently, this is a very original phrase. Your guess is as good as mine. Honestly, it seems like a rather bizarre statement to part with.
    Out of curiosity, where did you find this passage?

  3. #3
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Let the devil make a twin

    It's from a book preparing to Matura, a Polish high-school exit exam. An exam in English at a basic level (B1) is a part of Matura.

    The expression is from a reading task. The text is titled "A Tent in Agony" by Stephen Crane (adapted).
    And here is the original text which I've found:
    A Tent in Agony by Stephen Crane

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Let the devil make a twin

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    It's from a book preparing to Matura, a Polish high-school exit exam.
    I just cannot understand why anyone would choose a text like that for an examination these days. No modern speaker of BrE or AmE would speak or write in that style.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 25-Mar-2013 at 12:54.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Let the devil make a twin

    It sounds to me like a transliterated idiom from another language - que el diablo te haga un gemelo or something like that. Note, this 'Spanish idiom' is my own invention; I've certainly never the idiom met before, in any language. The only idiom I know that involves the devil and pairs (of anything!) is 'The devil makes work for idle hands to do' [='children must be kept busy or they'll get up to mischief'].

    b
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 25-Mar-2013 at 12:56. Reason: minor typo

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