|photo from wikis.lib.ncsu.edu|
Looking at this photo I think that
Nick Cage should play him in a
movie verison of
"The Last Dickens"
When I was coming down stairs from taking laundry up the doors parted on the elevator. The elevator car opens up onto the side hall lined with windows. And at night they act like mirrors. I saw a gaggle of women coming. One broke from the pack and made a dash for the open doors. I shoved the tub out so the wheel would clang and alert her to the potential hazzard. She heard the noise and nearly jumped out of her skin.
"You scared the Dickens out of me!" She exclaimed very loudly. I apologized and went on my way.
When I got back to the laundry room I realized I was feeling sad. No. I felt disappointed. It's always a Dickens that gets scared out of someone. For once it would be nice to scare a Poe, Bronte or even a Gaiman out of someone.
Then I wondered just why we say the Dickens has been scared out of someone. So I went to www.ask.com and found that the most likely attribution goes to one William Shakespeare who used it in the Merry Wives of Windsor in 1598. It is a euphamism for the devil and is derived from, perhaps devilkin or deilkin... best guess anyway. According to ask.com the name Dickens was used as a surname long before the 1598 publishing date.
www.wiktionary.com suggests that it is a fancilful use of the name Dicken the short form being Dick.
So of course my mind is thinking that if Dick's name was synonymous with the male member back then as it is now then to scare the dickens out of someone might mean that the shock was so great that the breeches couldn't contain it. And that would be right in Uncle Willie's wheelhouse.