One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Pay one's respects formally.‘I paid my devoirs to both’
- ‘Hereby allow me to pay our devoirs to you in behalf of all the staff of our company.’
- ‘Very warily has ‘my lord’ to pay his devoirs, for any unnecessary bashfulness on his part but precipitates his fate, which is, alas, to be eaten up.’
- ‘I wish you a good morning, and will pay my devoirs in a day or two to inquire after your health, and hear what has taken place.’
- ‘But since it is well for a squire to have some one to whom to pay his devoirs, and since, also, thou needest a proper squire, I tell thee, Faith, that thou shalt be my lady, and in all things will I be thy faithful squire.’
- ‘Let not the traveller omit to pay his devoirs to the liquid ‘manna of Montepulciano,’ the monarch of Tuscan, if not of all other wines, as Bacchus and Redi have pronounced it.’
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