What does Dickens mean?

Definitions for Dickens
ˈdɪk ɪnz; ˈhʌf əmdick·ens

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Dickens.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. devil, deuce, dickensnoun

    a word used in exclamations of confusion

    "what the devil"; "the deuce with it"; "the dickens you say"

  2. Dickens, Charles Dickens, Charles John Huffam Dickensnoun

    English writer whose novels depicted and criticized social injustice (1812-1870)


  1. dickensnoun

    The devil.

    She can go to the dickens for what she said.

  2. dickensnoun

    In the phrase the dickens ().

  3. Dickensnoun

    Charles Dickens, English novelist.

  4. Etymology: Origin: 1590–1600; apparently a fanciful use of the proper name Dicken, form of Dick.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Dickens

    A kind of adverbial exclamation, importing, as it seems, much the same with the devil; but I know not whence derived.

    Where had you this pretty weathercock?
    —— I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    What a dickens does he mean by a trivial sum?
    But han’t you found it, sir? William Congreve, Old Batchelor.


  1. Dickens

    Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime and, by the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are widely read today.Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school at the age of 12 to work in a boot-blacking factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. After three years he returned to school, before he began his literary career as a journalist. Dickens edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, for education, and for other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers, a publishing phenomenon—thanks largely to the introduction of the character Sam Weller in the fourth episode—that sparked Pickwick merchandise and spin-offs. Within a few years Dickens had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most of them published in monthly or weekly installments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her own disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor would individually pay a halfpenny to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.His 1843 novella A Christmas Carol remains especially popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities (set in London and Paris) is his best-known work of historical fiction. The most famous celebrity of his era, he undertook, in response to public demand, a series of public reading tours in the later part of his career. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social or working conditions, or comically repulsive characters.


  1. dickens

    1) A British author: Charles John Huffam Dickens, popularly known as Charles Dickens, was an esteemed British author who is considered one of the greatest writers in English literature. Known for his classics like "Great Expectations," "A Tale of Two Cities," "Oliver Twist," and "David Copperfield." 2) An expression of surprise: "Dickens" is also used colloquially in the English language, primarily in the UK, as an expression of surprise or annoyance. It is often used in the phrase "what the dickens," which is synonymous with "what on earth" or "what the devil." Please provide context if another definition is needed.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dickens

    the devil

  2. Etymology: [Perh. a contr. of the dim. devilkins.]


  1. Dickens

    Dickens is a city in and the county seat of Dickens County, Texas, United States. The population was 332 at the 2000 census. Charles Weldon Cannon, a Dickens County native, made his famous boots and saddles in Dickens.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dickens

    dik′enz, n. the deuce, the devil, as in 'What the dickens.'—Play the dickens with, to play the deuce with. [For devil, confused with Dickon = Richard.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    An author; polite term for the devil.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dickens is ranked #1990 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Dickens surname appeared 18,123 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 6 would have the surname Dickens.

    63.4% or 11,501 total occurrences were White.
    31.1% or 5,640 total occurrences were Black.
    2.2% or 404 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 350 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 156 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.3% or 71 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Dickens?

How to say Dickens in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Dickens in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Dickens in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of Dickens in a Sentence

  1. Archibald MacLeish:

    The American mood, perhaps even the American character, has changed. There are few manifestations any longer of the old American self-assurance which so irritated Dickens. Instead, there is a sense of frustration so perceptible that even our politicians have attempted to exploit it.

  2. William Shakespeare, "The Merry Wives of Windsor", Act 3 scene 2:

    I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.

  3. Ali Carter:

    I'm chief of staff to Andre Dickens, oK, well you still have a warrant for your arrest.

  4. Michael Caine:

    Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.

  5. Dimitrios Pagourtzis:

    We are trying like the dickens to treat the symptoms, not the disease, the disease isn’t the Second Amendment.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Dickens

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Dickens »


Find a translation for the Dickens definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Dickens." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Dickens>.

Discuss these Dickens definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for Dickens? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    be similar, be in line with
    A deny
    B conform
    C disturb
    D refine

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Dickens: