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devil take the hindmost, the

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Let everyone put his or her own interest first, leaving the unfortunate to their fate. For example, I don't care if she makes it or not—the devil take the hindmost. This expression, first recorded in 1608, probably originated as an allusion to a children's game in which the last (coming “hindmost”) is the loser, and came to mean utter selfishness.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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