I am having trouble parsing and understanding Кого там нелёгкая несёт? Входите!

The context is that someone is interrupted by a knock on the door, and that is his response.

I am especially puzzled by нелёгкая. According to morfologija.ru this can be either an adjective or a noun (in the nominative). And the sentence seems to require that нелёгкая is a noun. However I can't find any English translation of the noun.

So what is нелёгкая, and what is the meaning of the sentence? Thanks!


"Нелегкая" (adj.) literally means "not light [i.e. heavy]" and is used primarily in the sense of "not easy, hard, complicated" (life, choice, subject).

In the context of this old saying "нелегкая несет", though, "нелегкая" means the same as "нечистая", i.e. it's an old-times euphemism for "devil".

So, "who [the devil] is there? enter"; "what have [devils] brought here? enter".

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