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dickens

exclamation, "the Devil!," used with the definite article, formerly with the indefinite, 1590s, apparently a substitute for devil; probably altered from Dickon, the old nickname for Richard and source of the surnames Dickens and Dickenson, but if so the exact derivation and meaning are unknown. Century Dictionary points to Low German duks, düker "the deuce," variants of deuce (see deuce).

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