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dickens

[dik-inz]
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noun
  1. devil; deuce (usually preceded by the and often used in exclamations and as a mild imprecation): The dickens you say! What the dickens does he want?
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Origin of dickens

1590–1600; apparently a fanciful use of Dicken, form of Dick, proper name

Dickens

[dik-inz]
noun
  1. CharlesJohn Huf·fam, [huhf-uh m] /ˈhʌf əm/, Boz, 1812–70, English novelist.
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Related formsDick·en·si·an [dih-ken-zee-uh n] /dɪˈkɛn zi ən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

naughty, impish, sly, rude, malicious, playful, infant, toddler, adolescent, juvenile, youth, teenager, baby, kid, offspring, minor, youngster, ragamuffin, brat, punk

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British Dictionary definitions for dickens

dickens

noun
  1. informal a euphemistic word for devil what the dickens?
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Word Origin

C16: from the name Dickens

Dickens

noun
  1. Charles (John Huffam), pen name Boz. 1812–70, English novelist, famous for the humour and sympathy of his characterization and his criticism of social injustice. His major works include The Pickwick Papers (1837), Oliver Twist (1839), Nicholas Nickleby (1839), Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41), Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), David Copperfield (1850), Bleak House (1853), Little Dorrit (1857), and Great Expectations (1861)
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dickens

exclamation, 1590s, apparently a substitute for devil; probably altered from Dickon, nickname for Richard and source of the surnames Dickens and Dickenson, but exact derivation and meaning are unknown.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper