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Denotation vs. Connotation

Sam Hill

noun, Slang.
1.
hell (used especially in WH-questions as a mild oath expressing exasperation and usually preceded by in or the):
Who in Sam Hill are you?
Origin of Sam Hill
1830-1840
1830-40, Americanism; Sam (orig. salmon, variant of Sal(o)mon an oath) + hill, euphemism for hell
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Sam Hill
Historical Examples
  • The bear he laughed hearty 'n scratched the ground like Sam Hill, 'n flung the dirt higher'n his head.

    Eben Holden Irving Bacheller
  • Why in Sam Hill can't a man and a woman get married without all this fuss?

    Big Timber Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • You've got the goods, and, by Sam Hill, we mean to have 'em!'

  • I hated worse 'n Sam Hill to see that Morris chair go back—you liked it so.

  • One day a neighbor came across Willie hustling like old Sam Hill to reload a wagon of hay which had overturned.

    Jiglets Walter Jones
  • Well, Sam Hill met him, found out what he was about, and kinder surmised what it all meant.

  • Wall, the night came 'round and Sam Hill was the only one that turned up at the time app'inted.

  • One afternoon, I heard her giving him a Sam Hill of a blow-up and met him in the hall soon afterward.

    Jiglets Walter Jones
  • People cannot see "why the Sam Hill" anyone wants to walk the highway when the rails make a bee-line for the destination.

  • I do everything not to disturb herand here you crazy young-ones are raising particular Sam Hill out there in that open lot!

    The Girls of Central High Gertrude W. Morrison
Word Origin and History for Sam Hill

euphemism for "Hell," 1839, American English, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for Sam Hill

Sam Hill

noun phrase

Hell: Where in Sam Hill do you think you're going?

[1839+; an echoic euphemism]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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