Like the Dickens


      • with great intensity
        To convey that something is done with a lot of energy, vigor, or speed

      • to a great extent
        To indicate that something is very much or to a high degree

    Examples of Like the Dickens

    • She was overwhelmed with emotions, her face contorted in a way that resembled the characters in Charles Dickens' novels.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where someone is experiencing intense emotions, just as the characters in the works of Charles Dickens were known for their strong feelings and intense expressions.

    • The streets were alive with the hustle and bustle of people rushing past, creating a scene reminiscent of the busy urban areas depicted in Dickens' novels.

      This idiom is used to describe a chaotic and busy scene, much like the scenes depicted in the novels of Charles Dickens, who was known for his portrayals of urban life.

    • They were left speechless, as if they had just finished reading a gripping and emotional novel by Charles Dickens.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where people are left in a state of silence, just as a reader might be at the end of a powerful book by Charles Dickens.

    • The rain poured down in sheets, a sight reminiscent of the dreary London environment in Dickens' novels.

      This idiom is used to describe a somber and gloomy scene, much like the scenes depicted in the novels of Charles Dickens, who was known for his descriptions of the weather in his works.All of these examples demonstrate the versatility of the "like the Dickens" idiom, as it can be used to describe a variety of different scenarios and emotions. By referencing the works of Charles Dickens, the idiom adds an element of literary reference and evokes vivid imagery, making it a powerful and descriptive phrase to add to one's vocabulary.

    • She was shivering so badly that her teeth were chattering like the Dickens.

      This idiom is used to describe something that is making loud, rapid noises. In this example, it's being used to indicate that the person's teeth are knocked together quickly and loudly due to the cold. Charles Dickens, a famous British author, is referenced here because he was known for his vivid descriptions of cold, damp winter scenes in his novels.

    • The meeting dragged on and on until it felt like the Dickens.

      The meaning of this idiom is similar to the first one, but in this case, it's being used to describe a long, tedious experience that seems to go on forever. Once again, Charles Dickens is being evoked because his stories often included scenes that stretched on for what seemed like an eternity.

    • Life seemed like the Dickens lately, with one misfortune after another.

      This use of the idiom is slightly different, as it's being employed to express how challenging or difficult a particular situation or period of time has been. The phrase "life seems like the Dickens" is a way of saying that everything has been a series of hardships and mishaps, like the numerous hardships and misfortunes that Dickens featured in his novels.

    • His enthusiasm was so great that it was almost like the Dickens.

      Here, the idiom is being used to convey the intensity or fervor of someone's enthusiasm, comparing it to the vivid, passionate descriptions that were a hallmark of Dickens's writing style. In this context, someone who is "almost like the Dickens" is someone whose excitement is particularly lively and engaging.


    The idiom "like the Dickens" is used to express the idea of doing something with great intensity or to a great extent. It can be used to describe an action or situation that is being carried out with a lot of energy or vigor, or to emphasize that something is very much or to a high degree.

    The idiom is often used to add emphasis to a statement, showing the speaker's strong conviction or the intensity of the situation being described. It can also be used to convey a sense of urgency or significance in a particular context.

    Overall, "like the Dickens" is a colorful and expressive way to convey the idea of great intensity or extent in a given situation or action.

    Origin of "Like the Dickens"

    The origin of the idiom "like the Dickens" can be traced back to the works of Charles Dickens, a renowned English writer known for his vivid and energetic writing style. The idiom is believed to have originated from the use of Dickens' name as a way to emphasize the intensity and vigor of a situation.

    Charles Dickens was known for his powerful storytelling and the lively characters and settings in his novels. As a result, his name became synonymous with intensity and energy, leading to the creation of the idiom "like the Dickens" to convey these qualities in a more colorful and impactful manner.

    The idiom has since become a common expression in the English language, used to emphasize the intensity or extent of a situation or action, and continues to be a colorful and evocative way to convey these ideas.