DEVIL TO PAY
Today the expression devil to pay is used primarily as a means of
conveying an unpleasant and impending happening. Originally, this expression
denoted the specific task aboard ship of caulking the ships longest seam.
The devil was the longest seam on the wooden ship, and cauling was
done with pay or pitch. This grueling task of paying the devil was despised
by every seaman, and the expression came to denote any unpleasant task.