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This saying comes from this nautical fact:
To “pay” the deck seams meant to seal them with tar. The devil seam was the most difficult to pay because it was curved and intersected with the straight deck planking. Some sources define the "devil" as the below-the-waterline-seam between the keel and the the adjoining planking. This task was considered to be a most difficult and unpleasant job.

WHAT IS THE SAYING?
 
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