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Deuce

The Kelts called wood-demons dus. (Compare the Latin deus.)

“In the popular mythology both of the Kelts and Teutons there were certain hairy wood-demons, called by the former dus, and by the latter scrat (? scratz). Our common names of `Deuce' and `Old Scratch' are plainly derived from these.” —Lowell: Among my

Books
(Witchcraft), p. 109.

It played the deuce with me.
It made me very ill; it disagreed with me; it almost ruined me. The deuce is in you. You are a very demon.

Deuce take you.
Get away! you annoy me. What the deuce is the matter? What in the world is amiss?

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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