follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

dickens

[dik-inz] /ˈdɪk ɪnz/
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?
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; apparently a fanciful use of Dicken, form of Dick, proper name

Dickens

[dik-inz] /ˈdɪk ɪnz/
noun
1.
Charles (John Huf·fam)
[huhf-uh m] /ˈhʌf əm/ (Show IPA),
("Boz") 1812–70, English novelist.
Related forms
Dickensian
[dih-ken-zee-uh n] /dɪˈkɛn zi ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for dickens

dickens

/ˈdɪkɪnz/
noun
1.
(informal) a euphemistic word for devil what the dickens?
Word Origin
C16: from the name Dickens

Dickens

/ˈdɪkɪnz/
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)
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
Cite This Source
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for dickens

dickens

noun

The devil; a devilish person: felt like the dickens/ let the dickens out on Halloween


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dickens

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dickens

14
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with dickens