Sam-hill definition

săm hĭl
Used as an intensive.

What in sam hill is going on?

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(slang) Intensifier.

What the Sam Hill do you think you're doing?

Who the Sam Hill does he think he is?

Where in Sam Hill is that dog off to?

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Origin of sam-hill

  • Ultimately alteration of hell

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • One possibility for the origin of this expression is from the Swedish word for "community" which is "samhället". Some Swedish immigrant to the United States might have said, "Nu ver in de samhället has Johnny gone to?!", and it became anglicized, repeated, and immortalized.

    From Wiktionary

  • No suitable person is known to be original for this. Probably intended as a substitute for hell or, more fully, for "damned hell".

    From Wiktionary