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The meaning and origin of the expression: Like the Dickens

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Like the Dickens

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Meaning

A lot; as in 'hurts like the dickens'.

Origin

This phrase has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. Dickens is a euphemism, specifically a minced-oath, for the word devil, possibly via devilkins. Shakespeare used it in 'the Merry Wives of Windsor, 1600:

I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.