exclamation, 1590s, apparently a substitute for devil; probably altered from Dickon, nickname for Richard and source of the surnames Dickens and Dickenson, but exact derivation and meaning are unknown.
1. Dickens was lauded for his social and moral sensitivity.
2. It's a satire somewhat in the manner of Dickens.
3. Dickens felt compelled to return to the stage for a final good-bye.
4. Where the dickens did he go?
5. Dickens was pre-eminent among English writers of his day.