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Related to dickens: like the 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. expression Go away and leave me alone! How can you say such an awful thing to me? Go to hell!
2. verb To deteriorate. The whole department has gone to hell ever since you stepped down as manager.
See also: hell

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

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


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

See also: dickens

What the devil?

See also: what
References in classic literature ?
This Dickens did always remember, and it made him a tender and delightful father to whom his children looked up with something of adoration.
As the years went on Dickens wrote more and more books.
It was about this time, too, that Dickens found a new way of entertaining the world.
oWe hope our family connection with Dickens will help us to help others at this very special time of the year.
Peggy Caravantes' Best Of Times: The Story Of Charles Dickens (1931798680, $26.
This happens with their discussion of prostitution as well--they discuss its prevalence and its ties to lack of opportunities for women but focus on their outcast, condemned status rather than on the many people who were in fact trying to help them and "reclaim" them, like Charles Dickens, even while firmly believing and perpetuating the idea of the angel in the house, as he shows in David Copperfield.
The myna was named Dickens, after Grandfather's favorite author.
Dickens on Screen is part of a series produced by Cambridge University Press focusing on cinematic adaptations of the works of various classical authors.
He uses his charming voice to enchant his audience and capture the essence of Dickens.
British actor Ralph Fiennes speaks during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Dickens at Westminster Abbey in London.
Mrs Dickens' Family Christmas (BBC Two, December 30, 10pm) [bar] Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly Headly [bar] Looking at the marriage of Charles Dickens through the eyes of his wife, Catherine, Sue Perkins exposes the lesser-known reality of the Dickens family Christmas - very different from the heart-warming versions he pedalled in A Christmas Carol.
Summary: Charles Dickens will be feted around the world next year in literature, film, theater, music and art, underlining his international cultural impact two hundred years after his birth.
Central FCU Executive Vice President David Dickens, U.
Dickens and renowned country music historian, Bill Malone, have teamed up to provide the only volume dedicated to Dickens' musical relationship to the labour movement.