What the hell??

@oyenkai (4398)
Philippines
December 11, 2008 6:40pm CST
What does that even mean? "What the hell" defies grammar rules (And so does "what the f"), but we keep on using them. I've been thinking about it for almost a week now and I can't figure out how such a popular expression even started. When you think about it, "what the park" doesn't make any sense and so does "what the mall". "What hell?" makes perfect sense and is a valid question, so what the hell guys? English is a complicated language.
3 responses
@lynnemg (4539)
• United States
12 Dec 08
Both terms are simply slang terms for the question "What in the world..?" As in, "What in the world happened to you?" "What the hell happened to you?" See, it seems fairly simple.
1 person likes this
@oyenkai (4398)
• Philippines
12 Dec 08
well that makes sense. And I guess that's how much stupidity comes in my mind because I'm trying to take things literally. Ei, I always (I started this month) respond to the discussions that were started by whoever responds in mine - "to return the favor" of some sort. And I see that you've posted 535 comments but didn't start any discussion, what gives?
@lynnemg (4539)
• United States
12 Dec 08
I enjoy responding to the discussions that others have started. Occassionally, I will think about starting one, and I look, and someone else thought of the same thing.
• United States
12 Dec 08
Well I would say they are simply idiomatic expressions. All languages seem to have a lot of them. Actually "what the park?" would make sense, if you put a comma in there "What, the park?" as in: - I think there's buried treasure out there (points to the park) - What, the park? :) See also a list of English idioms I found: http://teacherjoe.us/Idioms01.html
1 person likes this
@oyenkai (4398)
• Philippines
12 Dec 08
"what, the park" would most certainly make sense. But "what, the hell" does not mean the same as "what the hell" :D thanks for the link. it's cool to read!
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
12 Dec 08
I know what you mean, but It is just a slang that got picked up. Just wait, it'll be put in the dictionary like HOmer Simpsons "duho!!" or however it is spelled! Worse than that...Know what I hate? When talking to people or listening ... they use "like" SO MANY TIMES! "I'm like..." and "It's like..." and "so, I'm like...." and good grief it goes on! It is so annoying to me! What about "groovey"... a groove is a deep indentation into another surface... how does that mean "cool" or "neat"? But it does!