On Language on Heck

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM
Mon Feb 13 15:49:24 UTC 2006

I think this "heck" is probably a different one from the euphemism
we're familiar with.  The Scottish National Dictionary reports an
interjectional "heck" that is "a call to a horse to turn to the left" . . .
also used as verb and figuratively of persons . . . Found in n. Engl.

On 12 Feb 2006, at 15:59, Baker, John wrote:

> Here's a
> use from 1854:
>         <<We drove all over Edinburgh, up to the castle, to the
> university, to Holyrood, to the hospitals, and through many of the
> principal streets, amid shouts, and smiles, and greetings.  Some boys
> amused me very much by their pertinacious attempts to keep up with the
> carriage.
>         "Heck," says one of them, "that's _her;_ see the _courls_.">>
> 1 Stowe, Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands 81 (1854) (via Making of
> America).

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