what the hell

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Shortened from earlier what in the hell.

Phrase[edit]

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what the hell

  1. (mildly vulgar, slang) An intensive form of what.
    What the hell is going on?
  2. (mildly vulgar, slang) Why not? or Who cares?
    It’s expensive, but what the hell, you only live once.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Thought to be more vulgar in the US whilst less vulgar in the UK and Australia.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Related terms[edit]