Sam Hill (euphemism)

Sam Hill is an American English slang phrase, a euphemism for "Hell", or "Damn" (as in, "What in Sam Hill is that?"). Its etymology is uncertain, however its usage dates back to at least 1839 when it first appeared in print in America in the Seattle Times Newspaper in reference to James J. Hill (Jim Hill). Jim Hill was the legendary "empire builder", whose railroads - included the Great Northern Railway (U.S.), was a man given to notable rages when anyone dared to oppose one of his grandiose schemes. So frequent were these tirades, that the paper carried as a standing headline: "Jim Hill is as mad as Sam Hill." Other phrases published included "go like Sam Hill" or "run like Sam Hill" - in reference to Colonel Samuel Hill of Guilford, Connecticut who perpetually ran for office in the late 19th Century.[1] However, he was apparently so unsuccessful that except for a brief mention in the Encyclopedia of American Politics, 1946 edition, there is scarce evidence that he existed.[2] Another explanation links the phrase to Sam Hill, an Abenaki Indian basket maker who lived near Saratoga Springs, NY in the early 19th century, known for the baskets he sold to tourists and for his disheveled appearance.<ref name="Bowman's Store">Bruchac, Joseph (2001). Bowman's Store. Lee & Low Books. 

Others have suggested that the "Sam" in the phrase derives from Samiel, the name of the Devil in Der Freischütz, an opera by Carl Maria von Weber that was performed in New York in 1825.[3]

Ultimately, the expression may simply be derived from a bowdlerization or alliteration of "hell" with "hill" when used in 19th century America by frontiersmen, especially when they needed to clean up their language in the presence of ladies.[4]

References

1. ^ Sam Hill (2004-08-01). Who or What is Sam Hill?. @ samhill.co.uk. Retrieved on 2007-07-02.
2. ^ Michael Quinion (2004-11-06). World Wide Words: Sam Hill. World Wide Words. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
3. ^ Mencken, H. L. (1936). The American Language, 4th edition, Alfred A. Knopf. 
4. ^ Various (1900). The New Dictionary of American Slang.1900"> 
American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), also known as United States English or U.S. English, is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States.
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Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language. Slang is often highly regional, specific to a particular territory.
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Hell, according to many religious beliefs, is an afterlife of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished.

Hell is almost always depicted as underground. Within Islam,[1] hell is traditionally depicted as fiery.
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Damnation" (or, more commonly, "damn", or "god damn") is widely used as a moderate profanity, which originated as such from the concept of punishment by God. Until around the mid-20th century damn
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Etymology is the study of the history of words - when they entered a language, from what source, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.

In languages with a long written history, etymology makes use of philology, the study of how words change from culture to
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1836 1837 1838 - 1839 - 1840 1841 1842

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The July 4, 2006 front page of
The Seattle Times
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet


Owner The Seattle Times Company
Publisher Frank A.
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James Jerome Hill (September 16 1838 – May 29 1916), was a noted Canadian-American railroad executive. He was the chief executive officer of a family of lines headed by the Great Northern Railway, which served a substantial area of the Upper Midwest, the northern Great
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Great Northern Railway

Great Northern route map circa 1920. Red lines are GN; dotted lines are other railroads.
Reporting marks GN
Locale St. Paul, Minnesota, to Seattle, Washington
Dates of operation c.
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Guildford is the county town of Surrey, England. It gives its name to the wider Borough of Guildford. It has in the past also been spelt Guilford.

Places named after it, using either spelling, include:

Australia

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State of Connecticut

Flag of Connecticut Seal of Connecticut
Nickname(s): The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State[]
Motto(s): Qui transtulit sustinet[0]
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Abenaki (or Abnaki) are a tribe of Native Americans/First Nations belonging to the Algonquian peoples of northeastern North America, located in area the Eastern Algonquian languages call the "Wabanaki" (Dawn Land) Region.
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Joseph Bruchac (1942-present) is a writer of books relating often to Native American lives and myths. He has published over 60 books, including works of poety, short stories, novels, and collections of Indian myths and legends.
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Samael (also Sammael) is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is accuser, seducer, and destroyer. He has been regarded as both good and evil. In rabbinic lore he is identified as the chief of Satans and the Angel of death.
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Developer's Image Library or DevIL (originally called OpenIL; the name was changed at a request from Silicon Graphics, Inc.), started by Denton Woods, is a cross-platform image library which aims to provide a common API for different image file format.
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Der Freischütz is an opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber to a libretto by Friedrich Kind. It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality.
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Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (Eutin, Holstein, November 18, 1786 – June 5, 1826 in London) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school.
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State of New York

Flag of New York Seal
Nickname(s): The Empire State
Motto(s): Excelsior!

Official language(s) None

Capital Albany
Largest city New York City

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Thomas Bowdler (IPA /ˈbaʊdlə/) (July 11, 1754 – February 24, 1825) was an English physician who published an edition of William Shakespeare's work that he considered to be more appropriate than the original
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Alliteration is the repetition of a leading vowel or consonant sound in a phrase. A common example in English is "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers". Alliteration can take the form of assonance, the repetition of a vowel, or consonance, the repetition of a consonant,
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Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956), better known as H. L. Mencken, was a twentieth-century journalist, satirist, social critic, cynic, and freethinker, known as the "Sage of Baltimore".
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19th century - 20th century
1870s  1880s  1890s  - 1900s -  1910s  1920s  1930s
1897 1898 1899 - 1900 - 1901 1902 1903

Year 1900 (MCM
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