Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Very; extremely.
  • adjective Excellent; exceptional.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • phrase nonstandard Hell have.
  • adjective slang, chiefly N CA Intensifier, signifies an abundance of a thing; much or many.
  • adjective slang, chiefly N CA a lot; or, a hell of a lot.
  • adverb slang, chiefly N CA Intensifier (modifies verbs); to a large extent; totally; very much.
  • adverb slang, chiefly N CA Intensifier (modifies adjectives); to a large degree; extremely; exceedingly.
  • interjection slang, chiefly N CA For sure; totally; hell yeah; used as a strong affirmation of something that was just said, accomplished, or revealed.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably shortening of helluva.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened form, or elision, of phrases like "hell have", approximating casual speech in writing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Related to "a hell of a". Originally Northern California slang. Also helluv.

Examples

  • I will trade in fog for sun, espresso for straight black organic coffee slush, and I will make every best effort to drop the word hella every other sentence.

    shrimp

  • I will trade in fog for sun, espresso for straight black organic coffee slush, and I will make every best effort to drop the word hella every other sentence.

    shrimp

  • I will trade in fog for sun, espresso for straight black organic coffee slush, and I will make every best effort to drop the word hella every other sentence.

    shrimp

  • I will trade in fog for sun, espresso for straight black organic coffee slush, and I will make every best effort to drop the word hella every other sentence.

    shrimp

  • Connoisseurs of slang won't be shocked that Northern Californians text "hella" a lot an expression of enthusiasm.

    Week in Ideas

  • With San Franciscans who have a distaste for the notorious Los Angeles traffic jams and Angelinos who shiver just thinking about fog, the rivalry between the two regions becomes comedic with a "hella" here and a "like" there.

    Lauren Selman: Art Bridges the Great Divide

  • At Google, software engineers, who are accustomed to planting "Easter eggs" -- hidden delights -- in their programs, got wind of "hella" through one of Sendek's friends and installed it in the service's calculator.

    A Hella Campaign: UC Davis Student Lobbies For 'Hella' To Be Used As Scientific Term

  • Sendek, 20, has petitioned the Consultative Committee on Units (a subdivision of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) to use "hella" to describe the rarely cited quantity of 10 to the 27th power.

    A Hella Campaign: UC Davis Student Lobbies For 'Hella' To Be Used As Scientific Term

  • Or maybe, the adult who doesn't know what "hella" means gets hopelessly ragged on.

    SeeLight:

  • If UC Davis student Austin Sendek has his way, the word "hella" will get its due -- in science.

    A Hella Campaign: UC Davis Student Lobbies For 'Hella' To Be Used As Scientific Term

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.