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The meaning and origin of the expression: Like the dickens

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Like the dickens

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Like the dickens'?

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

What's the origin of the phrase 'Like the dickens'?

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 'dickens' in 'the Merry Wives of Windsor, 1600:

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

The meaning and origin of the phrase 'Like the dickens'See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.

See also: What the dickens.

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