10 words and expressions inspired from Dickens’ novels

Hey everyone!

Here’s a short post about Dickens’ influence on the English language. We originally talked about it in class and I thought it would be a good idea to show you that this author has brought, along with his novels, some new vocabulary to the British nation. I collected a few of them for you to see. Enjoy! ; ) (BTW: My all time favorite is probably “What the Dickens?”, I just hardly imagine anyone saying this today!)


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Dickensian: this word stands for difficult living and working conditions.



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A Fagin:  An adult who turns kids into criminals. (From Oliver Twist)



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A Scrooge: A stingy and ill-mannered person. (From A Christmas Carol)



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Ghost of Christmas past : Refers to someone who has disappeared for many years and comes back to remind someone else of the past. (From A Christmas Carol)



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A Micawber: Someone without any wealth who hopes for a better future. (From David Copperfield)



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Whiz-bang: Something that’s very rapid, quick. ( From The Pickwick Papers)



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What the Dickens?: Old expression which was used to express surprise, anger… It’s quite the same as “What in the world?”.



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Boredom: When one feels disinterested, bored. (From Bleak house) 



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Marley’s Ghost: A person coming back to haunt someone. Can also mean someone who is chained up. (From A Christmas Carol)



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Bah, Humbug!: Expression used to say that you are disgusted or irritated. (From A Christmas Carol)


(picture credit: Juanosborne deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

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