Does anyone say ‘What the Dickens!’ anymore? I don’t think so. It was a euphemism for ‘What the Devil!’ – an exclamation of surprise or enquiry. Now we don’t bother with euphemisms; we aren’t scared of using once-taboo words and we’re certainly not scared of the bogeymen, like the Devil or Hell, behind those euphemisms. We think, how quaint they were: those people who once worried about saying such words. How much happier we are, saying ‘What the f***!’
I do want to talk about Dickens, though. I’ll do that next time.