the dickens

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See dickens.


the dickens

  1. (euphemistic) The devil.
    She can go to the dickens for what she said.
  2. Used as an intensifier.
    Why the dickens did he do that?
    It is cold as the dickens out here!
    • a. 1597, Shakespeare, William, The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 3, scene 2, lines 17–19:
      I cannot tell what the dickens his name / is that my husband had him of. What do you call your / knight's name, sirrah?
    • 1918, Burroughs, Edgar Rice, chapter IV, in The Land That Time Forgot:
      "That's it," I exclaimed, "--that's just the taste exactly, though I haven't experienced it since boyhood; but how can water from a flowing stream, taste thus, and what the dickens makes it so warm? It must be at least 70 or 80 Fahrenheit, possibly higher."


See also[edit]