A Gimlet . . . or other such cocktail . . . if you drink too many your head hurts like the dickens.
What the devil is a Dickens??
I thought it had something to do with the famous author. I just didn’t know what the relation was. You might be surprised that the phrase has nothing to do with Charles Dickens, as I assumed it did. And, since there isn’t any correlation that explains that!
But that doesn’t clarify what the dickens the dickens is. Way back in the day when knights were bold and maidens were fair and all that rot, dickens was a euphemism for the devil. It started out as devilkins and was eventually shortened to dickens.
Along the same vein, dickens is very much like deuce . . . as in What the deuce?! . . . deuce is another old English name for the Devil.
So, there you have it . . .