needs must when the devil drives

needs must when the devil drives
Needs must is used elliptically for ‘one needs must (i.e. must of necessity) go’.

c 1450 J. LYDGATE Assembly of Gods (EETS) 1. 21 Hit ys oft seyde by hem that yet lyues He must nedys go that the deuell dryues.

1602 SHAKESPEARE All’s Well that ends Well I. iii. 29 He must needs go that the devil drives.

1835 SOUTHEY Doctor III. lxxxiii. Needs must go when the Devil drives.

1843 SURTEES Handley Cross III. xi. Needs must when the devil drives!.. But I’d rather do any thing than injure that poor blue-eyed beauty.

1978 T. SHARPE Throwback iii. I don’t want to marry the damned woman either, but needs must when the devil drives.

2002 Times 22 Feb. 24 Applied conscientiously in the rush hour it [the rule ‘women and children first’] would ensure that no male adult would ever reach his office on time, if at all. Needs must when the Devil drives is a more realistic motto for the Underground.

Proverbs new dictionary.

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  • needs must (when the devil drives) —    The expression needs must (when the devil drives) means that you are sometimes forced by circumstances to do something that you do not want to do.     I d rather stay with you than attend the conference, but needs must ...! …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • needs must when the Devil drives — ► needs must when the Devil drives proverb sometimes you have to do something you would rather not. Main Entry: ↑need …   English terms dictionary

  • needs must (when the Devil drives) — needs ˈmust (when the Devil drives) idiom (saying) in certain situations it is necessary for you to do sth that you do not like or enjoy Main entry: ↑needsidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • needs — originally an adverb meaning ‘of necessity, necessarily’, survives in the somewhat literary phrase needs must: • He can kill a pig. Probably with his bare hands, if needs must Observer Food monthly, 2004. The phrase alludes to the old proverb… …   Modern English usage

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  • needs — see needs must when the devil drives …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • must needs — adverb Hyperbolic extension to needs, meaning must necessarily One must needs run when the devil drives …   Wiktionary

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