I wanted to cry most of all because I had wanted to right my own wrongs, to raise a loving family, and I had instead produced a hellion.
-- Jane Hamilton, A Map of the World, 1994
Brother Bob, the only brother l had left; the good, true, and dutiful son to Mama while I the preacher's hellion son rambled and gambled out there in the Territory...
-- Ralph Ellison, Three Days Before the Shooting, 2010
Hellion entered English in the mid-1800s from the Scottish and Northern English word of unknown origin hallion meaning "worthless fellow." When this word crossed the pond, the "a" in hallion was replaced by an "e," supposedly because of associations with hell.