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See also: Dickens



Origin: 1590–1600; apparently a fanciful use of the proper name Dicken, diminutive form of Dick.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪkɪnz/, /ˈdɪkənz/
    • (file)


dickens (uncountable)

  1. (euphemistic) The devil.
    She can go to the dickens for what she said.
    You scared the dickens out of me.
  2. In the phrase the dickens (Used as an intensifier).
    Why the dickens did he do that?
    We had the dickens of a row.
    • 1898, H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, page 123:
      "What the dickens does it all mean? The Martians can't get out of their pit, can they?"
  3. A disturbance or row.
    • 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
      Hugh considered saying, Then I guess I'll just have to kick you a few times instead, you frog son of a bitch. Then he thought of that fat bastard Keeton, handing him a pink slip for kicking up dickens in the local tavern.


  • Random House Dictionary


See also[edit]