Old Gentleman


Proper nounEdit

the Old Gentleman

  1. (euphemistic) The Devil.
    • 1700, Paul Scarron, The Whole Comical Works of Monsr. Scarron (page 13)
      Adieu, Madam, I am your most humble and most obedient Servant, or may the Old Gentleman in Black hurry me to his Dominions.
    • 1725, Daniel Defoe, An essay on the history and reality of apparitions
      AS the Devil is not so Black as he is Painted, so neither does he appear in so many Shapes as we make for him; we Dress him up in more Suits of Cloaths, and more Masquerade Habits, than ever he wore; and I question much, if he was to see the Pictures and Figures which we call Devil, whether he would know himself by some of them or no.
      IT would require more Skill than, I doubt, I am Master of, to bring you all to a right Method of thinking upon this Subject; however I shall venture upon it by way of Essay, that you may form such Images of the old Gentleman in your Mind, that you may not be cheated about him, may know him when you see him, may not call him out of his Name, or bestow his Right Wor∣shipful Titles upon another.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      `Oh Lord, sir,' answered Job, who now perceived the object for the first time, `I think that the old geneleman [sic] must have been sitting for his portrait on them rocks.'