The orgin of "Hella"

As an inhabitant of northen California, I say the word “hella” (meaning “many” or “very”) every fifteen seconds. Now as I venture out into the world I have come to realize that it doesnt really mean anything…I can be pretty sure it comes from “Hell Of”…but that doesnt make any sence either…so where did “hella” come from? Where all do they say it (my research has turned up Northern California and Georgia)? How long has this been going on?

It’s more like “Hell of a”. Being in Southern California I can tell you this was a popular expression when I was graduating high school (I do remember using it then) which was 1987. I have no idea if that is its true origin however. It seems like an obvious condensing of words much like the Southern “y’all” for “you all”

I had Hella brand headlights on my last car but I don’t think you meant “That car’s got hella lights.” I think it’s just a contraction of “hell of a lot of.” As my hero Cartman says, that’s hella cool.

yarster, that’s one hella simulpost. :wink:

Funny you mention that, because at my school, people from So Cal swear up and down that “hella” is a Northern California word and that it couldn’t have possible have come from So Cal.

Hmm, maybe I should bring it up again. Anyway, I think that Prince may be repsonsible for the word (or used it in a song), because in the song “You’ve Got The Look”, the female singer says “hella” in one of her parts.

I haven’t been outta NoCal since they started using it, so I wouldn’t know. But if you have a plurality of hellas, it’s Greece, isn’t it? (As in '<font face=“symbol”>E l l a V</font> ?)

Ray (Oh, but this is Turkey week, isn’t it?)

Umm, I made it up. :wink:

Seriously though, not sure of the origin but I lived near San Diego as a kid and from about 1980 to 1987 my family took a lot of trips to the San Francisco area. I only heard the word used up north during that period, so I figured it must have originated or been imported there.

“Teaching without words and work without doing are understood by very few.”
-Tao Te Ching

That’s Hecka, not Hella

Ah yes. Hella.

Yet another reason I’m glad to be from the East Coast…

Yer pal,

Don’t know what your research consisted of, but as a lifelong Georgian I can tell you it’s not a term used here. Ever. If we want to say helluva, we say helluva.

I, too, am from GA (Norcross), and I hear it. Not a lot, but it’s there. . . in fact, I used to work with a guy that said it constantly, and then the South Park episode aired where Cartman was saying it. . .

Heh heh heh. . .


Yeah, the east coast is wicked cool, isn’t it?


Well, it’s now clear to me that I don’t pay attention to slang… I thought “hella” came from that last year’s Halloween episode of South Park.
Heading back for the rock,

“…all the prettiest girls live in Des Moines…”
–Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Hmmm… I always thought “hella” was a British/European word. The earliest I’ve seen it in written form is on the back of Metallica’s The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited.

And Sven don’t forget Sweden’s Hellacopters, heavy metal dudes.

Yes! The new Hellacopters disc - a double on Sub Pop - does indeed kick much booty! Highly recommended by me…

Yer pal,

And Gluecifer?They have a split recording together with Hellacopters.
How do you use this “hella” again?

I don’t know anything about Metallica except that they’re NOT British. They’re from NorCal. They were discovered in my hometown. So it’s okay for them to use hella. And it’s DEFINITELY not from SoCal. My freshman dorm was about half people from NorCal and half from SoCal, and the Angelinos kept making fun of our word.

Use of the word: “That’s so hella cool!”

BTW, I knew these Christian girls who would say “hecka”, because it was blasphemous to say “hella.” Or something like that.


Perhaps hella is a side effect of senioritis?