He hath need of a long spoon that eateth with the devil.
Shakespeare alludes to this proverb in the Comedy of Errors, iv. 3; and again in the Tempest, ii. 2, where Stephano says:
“Mercy! mercy! this is a devil ... I will leave him, I have no long
Therefor behoveth him a ful long spoon
That schal ete with a feend.
Chaucer: The Squieres Tale, 10,916.
(A). One who is spoony, or sillily love-sick on a girl.
“He was awful spoons at the time.” —Truth (Queer Story), March 25th, 1886.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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