1.In the adverbial phrase hell of, hell of a, also helluva [special use of general English hell of a, helluva used before a noun, e.g. ‘a helluva job’]:used as an intensifier, ‘very’, ‘extremely’; helseadverb.Cf. hang of (a) (see hangnoun sense b).
1956D. JacobsonDance in Sun 15They were going to start some sort of a home for sick people. A sanatorium, he said, remembering the word. ‘This dorp is hell of a good for T.B. they say.’
2.In the (predicative) adjectival phrase the hell in [calqued on Afrikaans die hel in, literally ‘in hell’]furiously angry, enraged; the donder in, see dondernoun sense 2; the moer in, see moernoun2 sense 2.
1966L.G. BergerWhere’s Madam 97Sometimes when I get the hell-in with Silence, we have a fearful row which seems to clear the air.
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