Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 16:32:56 -0500

From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM

Subject: Re: hella hawkin'

From January 1996, student paper transcribing recorded conversation:

VAL: Anyways ... Ya check out that little Latin Flava' going' on at Taco

Bell? You know -- plaid, spikey hair?

JEN: He was hella hawkin'!

VAL: Whatever! (sarcastically, then laughs)

I've never heard it before. My 18 yr-old hasn't. Anyone?

Not entirely sure; it depends on how accurate the

transcription is. "Hella-" is an intensive prefix like

"mega-," that has been in use at least since the late

'80s. I've never heard "hawkin'" before, but I have

(rarely) encounted "honkin'" meaning roughly "exciting;

jammin', etc." Perhaps these are different realizations

of the same word.

BTW -- if anyone is interested, I have writings and data (a little) on

the still-new quotative "I'm all, '...'" as quoting gestures, tone of

voice, etc. as well as just words, going back to the early '80s when I

began tracking it.

I'd appreciate a few cites over the years, if they're handy. I

already had the ones you posted a while back. Do you have any

early examples of "like" as a quotative? Anyone else?


Jesse Sheidlower

Random House Reference