James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Wed Dec 1 15:33:04 UTC 1999

I appear to have been wrong about Mark Twain using
"hellacious".  A word-search through on-line copies of
his main works failed to turn-up the word, but of
course that wasn't a check on everything he ever
wrote.  Too bad - "hellacious" sounds like a word
Twain SHOULD have used!

The WWWebster Dictionary had this entry:

Main Entry: hel·la·cious
Pronunciation: "he-'lA-sh&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: hell + -acious (as in audacious)
Date: 1943
1 : exceptionally powerful or violent
2 : remarkably good
3 : extremely difficult
4 : extraordinarily large
- hel·la·cious·ly adverb


It's still the word I would propose as the most likely
source for the prefix "hella-".


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