Hell

Antonio

Senior Member
Mexico/Spanish
Hi Group,

I always wonder why you say hell of this and hell of that. You said that hell is rude depending on the tone, so you replaced hell from heck instead. But I have some questions for you.

"We're gonna have a hell of a fun" - means Let's have lots of fun.

"He's a hell of a player/run" - He's a really good sportman or player, right?

"Let's get the hell out" - Let's get out of here

"You scared the hell out of me" - You scare me a lot, right?

If am right or if am wrong, or if I'm missing some other meanings, please let me know.
 
  • Ladydean

    Member
    USA English
    "We're gonna have a hell of a fun" Should read: We're gonna have a hell of a LOT of fun"
    All of those could read "hell" or "heck" and mean the same thing, but they sound wishy-washy or like you are talking to children when you say "heck." In this context, if you want to add an edge to your speech (in my opinion), saying "hell" reinforces what you said, i.e. "You scared the hell out of me" implies that you were so scared you almost had a heart attack (pretty serious!), whereas "You scared the heck out of me" doesn't sound as severe.
    "He's a hell of a player" means that he's so good, you couldn't imagine competing against him. You're impressed by his skills. You mean it as a compliment. Also in this context, we say "He's a hell of a guy," meaning that his character is so strong, you just want everyone to know that he's a great guy, he's the one to go with.
    It seems that in these contexts, "hell" is a modifier that indicates intensity in size or goodness (if that made any sense).
     

    Antonio

    Senior Member
    Mexico/Spanish
    Hi Group,

    But is rude or not to said these phrases in front of other people.

    "We're gonna have a hell of a lot of fun" and "He's a hell of a guy"
     

    Ladydean

    Member
    USA English
    There can also be ways to use "hell of" in a negative sense, although they are still indicating a rise in intensity. For example: "I had a hell of a time trying to get through customs" would mean it was really difficult and took a long time. Also: "It was a hell of a stretch, but in they end they believed her" could indicate that she struggled to convince some people, but finally succeeded. The examples are endless.
     

    Ladydean

    Member
    USA English
    It would depend on who you are talking to! Among some people, of course it would be rude. That would be one reason to substitute "heck" for "hell." Others are de-sensitized and wouldn't notice one way or the other.
     

    clin

    Member
    mandarin
    Ladydean said:
    "We're gonna have a hell of a fun" Should read: We're gonna have a hell of a LOT of fun"
    All of those could read "hell" or "heck" and mean the same thing, but they sound wishy-washy or like you are talking to children when you say "heck." In this context, if you want to add an edge to your speech (in my opinion), saying "hell" reinforces what you said, i.e. "You scared the hell out of me" implies that you were so scared you almost had a heart attack (pretty serious!), whereas "You scared the heck out of me" doesn't sound as severe.
    "He's a hell of a player" means that he's so good, you couldn't imagine competing against him. You're impressed by his skills. You mean it as a compliment. Also in this context, we say "He's a hell of a guy," meaning that his character is so strong, you just want everyone to know that he's a great guy, he's the one to go with.
    It seems that in these contexts, "hell" is a modifier that indicates intensity in size or goodness (if that made any sense).

    when u say "somebody's character is strong", does it mean he's a tough, hard-headed type of person, or he's character is so obvious that everyone can notice what kind of person he is immediately? does " He's quite a character" carry the same connotation?

    Thanks.
     

    Ladydean

    Member
    USA English
    For "somebody's character is strong" it would be more of a recommedation, of sorts. It would be positive... a more specific example perhaps would be if someone was looking to speak with a professor that could recommend certain programs. Someone might describe said professor by saying "He's willing to help anyone out and he's really considerate. He's a hell of a guy." Whereas "He's quite a character" could be slightly sarcastic or a way of saying someone is a bit strange, or always cracking jokes, or always has a comeback, among other things.
     

    Antonio

    Senior Member
    Mexico/Spanish
    "Not a chance in hell" is the same thing as "no way". By the way, is rude to say the first sentence to people that you don't know and don't get along well?
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I would never use profanity with someone I don't know well. Would you do that in your own language? Hell is not a horribly strong swear word but I would take care in using it. You need to know how a person will react.
     

    Antonio

    Senior Member
    Mexico/Spanish
    I don't quite understand the meaning of the following phrases:

    "It was a hell of a team/show/movie/fun/watch"

    All these examples have the same meaning or not?
     

    vachecow

    Senior Member
    USA English
    They all have the same meaning.....the show/movie/etc was great/exciting

    ps. I second the idea of not using hell, especially with people you don't know....you can never go wrong with heck
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    Antonio said:
    But is rude or not to said these phrases in front of other people.

    "We're gonna have a hell of a lot of fun"

    If you go over to pick up your girl friend for a date and you say this to her parents, it would be a serious mistake. :)
     

    Yaya

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    interesting tidbit. If someone says "hella" like... "there was hella people there" (meaning there was a lot of people there) chances are he's from northern california... southern californians make fun of norcals for saying that. It was an adjustment I had to make moving from san fran area to san diego.
     

    Antonio

    Senior Member
    Mexico/Spanish
    Also I have heard "He's a hell of a guy/player" means "He's a great guy/player" and "That's a hell of a watch you got there, son" means "That's a cool/killer watch, am I right?

    Sorry for not understand completly this following phrases, but which of these two phrases, is the correct one "We're gonna have a hell of a fun" or "We're gonna have a hell of lot of fun"
     

    Benjy

    Senior Member
    English - English
    Antonio said:
    Also I have heard "He's a hell of a guy/player" means "He's a great guy/player" and "That's a hell of a watch you got there, son" means "That's a cool/killer watch, am I right?

    Sorry for not understand completly this following phrases, but which of these two phrases, is the correct one "We're gonna have a hell of a fun" or "We're gonna have a hell of lot of fun"

    the second.

    your other suppositions are correct aswell
     

    Yaya

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Antonio said:
    is the correct one "We're gonna have a hell of a fun" or "We're gonna have a hell of lot of fun"

    like benjy said, the second one is correct. But I do not say that too much... it sounds kind of long too me.. isn't the point of slang in part that it's shorter? If anything, I would say "we're gonna have hella fun"
     

    Antonio

    Senior Member
    Mexico/Spanish
    I do agree with everyone in this thread, that is not good to say this phrase in front of people you don't know, or you don't get along with. But what about "heck" can I say in front of people "He's a heck of a guy" for example or not?
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Antonio said:
    I do agree with everyone in this thread, that is not good to say this phrase in front of people you don't know, or you don't get along with. But what about "heck" can I say in front of people "He's a heck of a guy" for example or not?
    Yes Antonio;
    You can say "heck" in front of people..
    te gato;)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Antonio said:
    I do agree with everyone in this thread, that is not good to say this phrase in front of people you don't know, or you don't get along with. But what about "heck" can I say in front of people "He's a heck of a guy" for example or not?
    I don't know if anyone explained one thing clearly:

    "Hell" is a swear word unless you are talking about "hell" in a religious sense.

    It is NOT okay to use unless you know who you're talking to. Do NOT use this word if you don't know someone. Period. It's just like using "damn". The same thing is true for this other word. Do NOT use "damn" unless you know the person you are talking to.

    It's a very strange matter, but the existence of words such as "heck" and "darn", to replace "hell" and "damn", have never made any sense to me. Nevertheless, there are some people who will be seriously offended if you use "hell" and "damn".
     
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