— hell! excl.
used to negate the previous sentence or phrase; esp. in a rhetorical question, implying the answer no, in a variety of excls., including those listed below; also used with different personal pronouns.
|Louisiana ‘Swamp Doctor’ (1850) 140: Love! h-ll!|
|Drama in Pokerville 193: ‘Two candles, h-ll!’ said he.|
|Smoke Bellew (1926) 160: ‘It’s part of the system.’ ‘System — hell!’.|
|Man Called Jones (1949) 69: Accident, hell. She committed suicide.|
an excl. implying resignation, acceptance.
|Blow Your House Down 107: Oh dear me, could I hell do anything with him.|
implying negation, e.g. Did I steal that car, did I hell!; similarly will I hell! = no, I certainly won’t!
|Nil Carborundum (1963) Act III: albert: Hey, Taff, will you do us a favour? taffy: Will I hell.|
an excl. of absolute rebuttal, i.e. the hell I will! no I certainly won’t/don’t!
|You’re in the Racket, Too 21: Did he remember? Did he hell!|
|Awopbop. (1970) 127: But does it reflect a new black pride, does it hell?|
|Honourable Schoolboy 275: And do we go for his jugular? [...] Do we hell. We pussyfoot. We stand on the sidelines.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] And does he think anything of it. No does he hell!‘Sleeping Dogs Lie’|
|Guardian Weekend 29 Jan. 7: Do they hell!|
a general phr. of aggressive dismissal, countering or negating the previous statement.
|Apprentices (1970) II i: bagley: Anybody know where the New Forest is? boswell: Wales, I think. taffy: Is it hell in Wales.|
|(con. 1920s) Liza’s England (1996) 150: ‘That child’s psychic,’ Frank said. ‘Is she hell’.|