pay the piper

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb idiomatic To pay expenses for something, and thus be in a position to be in control (i.e. to be able to call the tune).
  • verb idiomatic To pay a monetary debt or experience unfavorable consequences, especially when the payment or consequences are inevitable in spite of attempts to avoid them.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly based on the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Examples

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