printer's devil

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n printer's devil an apprentice in a printing establishment
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Printer's devil See under Devil, and Gauge.
    • Printer's devil the youngest apprentice in a printing office, who runs on errands, does dirty work (as washing the ink rollers and sweeping), etc.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Printer's devil the youngest apprentice in a printing-office: a printer's errand-boy
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. deóful, deófol—L. diabolus—Gr. diabolos, from diaballein, to throw across, to slander, from dia, across, and ballein, to throw; cf. Ger. teufel, Fr. diable, It. diavolo, Sp. diablo.

Usage

In literature:

A printer's devil, with a paper cap on his head, was waiting even then for copy.
"A Distinguished Provincial at Paris" by Honore de Balzac
Why, I thought a printer's devil was a creature with a black face and in rags.
"Life of Johnson" by James Boswell
I was a printer's "devil," and a progressive and aspiring one.
"Sketches New and Old, Complete" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Where's that little pale printer's devil, the one they call the gambler's ghost?
"Down the Mother Lode" by Vivia Hemphill
I was a printer's "devil," and a progressive and aspiring one.
"Sketches New and Old, Part 2." by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
In this case, not only the printer's devil, but the wolf was at the door.
"Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated" by Sir Walter Scott
Talking of a very respectable authour, he told us a curious circumstance in his life, which was, that he had married a printer's devil.
"Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6)" by Boswell
This is a printer's devil.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 4th, 1920" by Various
The devil himself isn't proof to a blister of printer's ink.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
What are you grinning at in the corner there, you little ugly Beelzebub of a Printer's Devil?
"Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2" by John Wilson
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