What is the origin of the last name Dickens?

The last name Dickens traces its origins to medieval England, derived from the popular given name "Dickin," a diminutive form of "Dick," which was a short form of the name Richard. This surname, commonly associated with Charles Dickens, the famous 19th-century English writer, indicates a connection to individuals who were descendants or associated with someone named Dickin.

Countries of origin for the last name Dickens

The last name Dickens has an interesting origin and meaning. It is an English surname that is primarily associated with the famous author, Charles Dickens. The name is derived from the medieval given name “Dickin,” which is a diminutive of “Dick” or “Richard.” This suggests that the surname originally indicated “son of Dickin” or “son of Richard,” emphasizing the patronymic nature of many English last names.

The name Dickens can be traced back to the 13th century in England, with early records showing variations such as Dikyn, Dykkyns, and Dykins. Similar to other patronymic surnames, the spelling and pronunciation of Dickens have evolved over time. Alternative spellings include Diggins and Dickins.

It is important to note that while the last name Dickens is most closely associated with the celebrated novelist, Charles Dickens, it is not exclusive to him. The surname has been borne by multiple individuals and families throughout history, with the famous author merely contributing to its prominence and recognition.

In terms of geographical distribution, the surname Dickens is most prevalent in the United States, particularly in states like Texas, California, and Florida. This can be attributed to migration patterns and historical movements of individuals with the surname. The popularity of Dickens as a last name in the United States highlights the influence of English immigration and the enduring legacy of notable figures such as Charles Dickens.

The meaning of the last name Dickens reflects its connection to the name Dickin or Richard, which has Old English origins. The name Richard traces back to the Germanic elements “ric,” meaning “ruler” or “king,” and “hard,” meaning “brave” or “strong.” Therefore, the name Dickens can be interpreted as “son of Dickin/Richard,” with connotations of a strong or brave ruler.

While the last name Dickens may be commonly associated with Charles Dickens, its historical roots and distribution extend beyond the boundaries of the renowned author’s fame. The richness of the surname’s meaning and its widespread usage contribute to its continued significance in genealogy and name etymology, inviting further exploration and understanding.

Interesting facts about the last name Dickens

  • The surname Dickens is of English origin and is derived from the personal name ‘Dickin’, which itself is a diminutive form of the name ‘Dick’ or ‘Richard’.
  • The name Dickens is most commonly associated with the famous English author Charles Dickens, known for his timeless works such as “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations.”
  • The Dickens surname has ancient roots, with records dating back to the 13th century in the county of Norfolk, England.
  • According to historical records, the Dickens family has been established in various regions of England, including Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex.
  • Etymologically, the surname Dickens is believed to have originated from the Medieval English feminine given name ‘Denise’, which was later modified to ‘Dickons’ and eventually ‘Dickens’.
  • The Dickens surname is relatively rare compared to other common English surnames, making it somewhat unique.
  • Various spelling variations of the surname have been recorded throughout history, including Dicons, Dicon, Dickings, Dickin, and Dicken.
  • The Dickens surname is not exclusive to England, as there are individuals with this surname residing in other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • While the exact meaning of the surname Dickens is unclear, it is believed to have associations with strength, power, and ruler-ship.
  • Over the years, the Dickens surname has gained prominence and recognition due to the literary contributions of Charles Dickens, contributing to its overall cultural significance.

Name Rank


There are around 18123 people with the last name Dickens in the US

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