Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 08:22:44 -0800 From: Allen Maberry Subject: Re: Expletive origin The University of Chicago's Dictionary of American English (U.of Chicago, 1944) gives the citation: Sam Hill. A euphemism for hell. 1839 Havana (N.Y.) "Republican" 21 Aug. (Th.) "What in sam hill is that feller ballin' about?" ("sam hill" in lower case in original) Allen Maberry maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] On Mon, 13 Mar 1995, Jerry (NMN) Miller wrote: > "I Hear America Talking" by Flexner includes "Sam Hill" in a long list of mild > curses and mincing terms and gives 1839 as its date of introduction in America. > It doesn't explain the origin of the phrase, however, although presumably, Hill > is Hell minced, and perhaps Sam is damned minced? Could happen. (But not nearly > as scintillating as W. C. Fields' classics, "Godfrey Daniel" and "Shivering > Shinola," in my humble opinion!) > > jmiller >