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  • Hella is an American slang term that originated in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has since spread to become native slang to all of Northern California

Hella facts

  • It is used to describe such as 'hella bad' or 'hella good', and eventually added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002
  • It is probably a contraction of the phrase "hell of a" or "hell of a lot [of]", in turn reduced to "hell of", though some scholars doubt this etymology
  • It often appears in place of the words "really," "a lot," "totally," "very" and in some cases "yes"
  • Whereas hell of a is generally used with a noun, according to linguist Pamela Munro, hella is primarily used to modify an adjective such as "good
  • According to lexicographer Allan A
  • Metcalf, the word is a marker of Northern California dialect
  • According to Colleen Cotter, "Southern Californians know the term
  • but rarely use it
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