3

Specifically, I'm looking for something that would fit in the same situation, but I need a less negative connotation. Saying that when my Dad, for instance, walks into the room while I'm talking about him, well, that sort of seems to imply I think he's the devil.

Naturally, any help or criticism of my question is welcome. I can't improve if I don't know something's wrong.

  • 3
    This may just be a personal thing but I use it all the time and the idiomatic use of it never seems to have the negative connotations, particularly if you say it with a genuine smile. :D – Catija May 22 '15 at 18:40
  • 1
    The expression's literal translation is also present in Hindi. For the positive turn, we use a different expression- (We were just talking about you, therefore:) you're gonna live a long life. – Tushar Raj May 22 '15 at 18:41
  • My grandfather often said "speak of the devil and in he walks" if someone who was a recent topic of discussion arrived. – Davo Nov 1 '17 at 11:58
  • @Catija that's a reasonable point, and is probably a contributing factor to why I'm able to use this expression with my dad. I just want something more appropriate to say in general usage or with someone that I don't want to take a chance of them misunderstanding. So Jeff's answer is pretty good. Just wish I got more responses; maybe I accepted his answer to soon? – Twisted Code Nov 30 '18 at 21:54
5

Not a direct replacement, but something you might say to your Dad when he comes in: "Were your ears burning?" See Origin of burning ears if you are not familiar with the expression.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.