dickens

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Related to Dickensian: Charles Dickens

dickens

1. The devil. Typically used as an intensifier. What the dickens is going on in here? I heard that loud bang all the way down the hall.
2. A mischievous child. A: "Ella just pulled over a chair so she could reach the cookies on the high shelf." B: "Boy, she's a clever little dickens, that's for sure."

go to hell

1. rude slang An expression of angry dismissal or contempt. How can you say such an awful thing to me? Go to hell!
2. verb To deteriorate to a state of extreme disorder, corruption, or depravity. The whole department has gone to hell ever since you stepped down as manager.
See also: hell

(as) hot as the dickens

old-fashioned, slang Extremely and uncomfortably hot. On summer days in Texas, when it's hot as the dickens outside, there's nothing quite like a tall glass of sweet tea. I hate working in the theme park during the summer, because it's as hot as the dickens in the costumes they make us wear.
See also: dickens, hot

like the dickens

An intensifier used when one puts forth great effort to do something. I'm planning to fight like the dickens against this illness, so I'm researching both Western and Eastern methods of treatment. We've been working like the dickens to get the update finished before the Christmas break.
See also: dickens, like

like the devil

An intensifier used when one puts forth great effort to do something. I'm planning to fight like the devil against this illness, so I'm researching both Western and Eastern methods of treatment. We've been working like the devil to get the update finished before the Christmas break.
See also: devil, like

go to hell

 and go to (the devil) 
1. Inf. to go to hell and suffer the agonies therein. (Often a command. Caution with hell.) Oh, go to hell! Go to hell, you creep!
2. Inf. to become ruined; to go away and stop bothering someone. (Use hell with caution.) This old house is just going to hell. It's falling apart everywhere. Leave me alone! Go to the devil! Oh, go to, yourself!
See also: hell

*like the devil

 and *like the dickens; *like hell
Fig. with a fury; in a great hurry; with a lot of activity. (*Typically: fight ~; run ~; scream ~; thrash around~.) We were working like the dickens when the rain started and made us quit for the day.
See also: devil, like

raise the dickens (with someone or something)

to act in some extreme manner; to make trouble; to behave wildly; to be very angry. John was out all night raising the dickens. That cheap gas I bought really raised the dickens with my car's engine.
See also: dickens, raise

What (in) the devil?

 and What (in) the dickens?
Inf. What has happened?; What? (Often with the force of an exclamation.) What in the devil? Who put sugar in the salt shaker? What the dickens? Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
See also: what

What the devil?

 and What the fuck?; What the hell?; What the shit?
What has happened?; What? (Often with the force of an exclamation. What the fuck? and What the shit? are taboo.) What the devil? Who put sugar in the salt shaker? What the fuck? Who are you? What are you doing in my room? What the shit are you doing here? You're supposed to be at work.
See also: what

You scared the hell out of me.

 and You scared the crap out of me.; You scared the dickens out of me.; You scared the devil out of me.; You scared me out of my wits.; You scared the pants off (of) me.
You frightened me very badly. (Also with subjects other than second person. Of is usually retained before pronouns.) He scared the hell out of all of us. She really scared the pants off of me.
See also: hell, of, out, scare

go to hell

Also, go to the devil or dickens . Go to everlasting torment, ruin, or perdition. For example, Nancy did not mince words but simply told him to go the devil, or Go to hell, Tom, I won't give you another cent. These phrases are often uttered as angry imperatives to order someone to go away. Hell, devil, and dickens (a euphemism for "devil") all refer to the underworld, the residence of the devil, from which a person would never return.
See also: hell

go to hell

INFORMAL
1. If you say that someone can go to hell, you mean that you do not care about them or their opinions and that you do not want anything to do with them. I certainly don't care what Sylvia thinks — she can go to hell. If he's going to treat my children like that, he can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.
2. If you say that a thing or an activity can go to hell, you mean that you do not care if you do not have it or do it. All the talking and coffee-drinking could go to hell as far as he was concerned.
3. If you tell someone to go to hell, you tell them angrily to go away. If he dares to complain, tell him to go to hell. Compare with be going to hell.
See also: hell

like the devil (or a demon)

with great speed or energy.
See also: devil, like

like the ˈdevil

(old-fashioned, informal) very fast, hard, etc: We had to work like the devil to be finished on time.I ran like the devil, but I still missed the bus.
See also: devil, like

go to ˈhell

(spoken, offensive) used to tell somebody to go away or to stop saying/doing something because it is annoying: He wanted to come back but she told him to go to hell.‘Why don’t you answer my question, Jim?’ ‘Oh, go to hell, will you? I’m tired of your stupid questions.’
See also: hell

dickens

1. and the dickens n. the devil. (Always with the in this sense.) I felt as bad as the dickens, but what could I do?
2. n. a devilish or impish child. (Also a term of address. Usually with little.) You are such a cute little dickens!

the dickens

verb
See also: dickens

What the devil?

verb
See also: what
References in periodicals archive ?
For Harrison, the invention of the watch led to an incessant, Dickensian legal case over attempts to claim the longitude prize.
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Price includes: Return coach from a range of local pick up points, one night in a twin or double bedded room with private facilities at a three star hotel, half board, visit to the Dickensian Christmas Festival in Grassington, visit to Haworth.
York St Nicholas Fayre Chatsworth House Grassington & Castle Howard & Lincoln Christmas Market Dickensian Christmas Fair Departs 28 November & Christmas at Castle Howard Departs 5 December from pounds 99.