Hell's Kitchen Look up Hell's Kitchen at Dictionary.com
disreputable, impoverished New York City neighborhood, the name attested from 1879. The phrase was used from at least 1866 as an intensive form of Hell.
Hell's kitchen (American), a horrible slum. Hell's Kitchen, Murderer's Row, and the Burnt Rag are names of localities which form collectively the worst place in New York. [Albert Barrère and Charles G. Leland, "A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant," 1889]
hell-fired (adj.) Look up hell-fired at Dictionary.com
a euphemism for damned attested from 1756. See hellfire.
hell-raiser (n.) Look up hell-raiser at Dictionary.com
1914 (to raise hell is from 1896), from hell + agent noun from raise (v.).
hellacious (adj.) Look up hellacious at Dictionary.com
1930s, college slang, from hell + fanciful ending (see bodacious).
hellbender (n.) Look up hellbender at Dictionary.com
large salamander of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 1812, supposedly so called for its ugliness.
hellbent (adj.) Look up hellbent at Dictionary.com
also hell-bent, 1835, U.S., originally slang, from hell + bent (1).
hellcat (n.) Look up hellcat at Dictionary.com
also hell-cat, "volatile woman," c. 1600, from hell + cat.
hellebore (n.) Look up hellebore at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French ellebore, from Latin elleborus, from Greek helleboros, perhaps meaning "plant eaten by fawns," from Greek ellos/hellos "fawn" + bora "food of beasts," from bibroskein "to eat," from PIE root *gwere- (4) "to swallow" (see voracity). Among the ancients, the name given to various plants of both poisonous and medicinal qualities, reputed to cure madness.
Hellenic (adj.) Look up Hellenic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to Greece," 1640s, from Greek Hellenikos, from Hellen "a Greek," of unknown origin. Earliest surviving use is by Homer in reference to a Thessalian tribe.
Hellenism (n.) Look up Hellenism at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "idiom or expression peculiar to Greek;" see Hellenic + -ism. In sense "culture and ideals of ancient Greece," 1865.
Hellenistic (adj.) Look up Hellenistic at Dictionary.com
1706, "of or pertaining to Greece and its culture," from Hellen (see Hellenic) + -istic. Since late 19c., specifically of Greek culture in the few centuries after Alexander.
heller (n.) Look up heller at Dictionary.com
former small coin of Austria and Germany, 1570s, from German Heller, from Middle High German haller, short for haller pfennic "penny coined in Hall" in Swabia (see dollar).
hellfire (n.) Look up hellfire at Dictionary.com
also hell fire, from Old English hellefyr, in which helle is the genitive case of hell. It translates Greek gehenna tou pyros, literally "fiery hell." Also used in Middle English for "erysipelas" (mid-15c.).
hellhole (n.) Look up hellhole at Dictionary.com
"the pit of Hell," late 14c., from hell + hole (n.). Meaning "unpleasant place" is from 1866.
hellhound (n.) Look up hellhound at Dictionary.com
also hell-hound, "wicked person;" also "Cerberus," Old English hellehund; see hell + hound.
hellion (n.) Look up hellion at Dictionary.com
1846, American English, altered (by association with Hell) from Scottish/northern England dialectal hallion "worthless fellow, scamp" (1786), of unknown origin.
hellish (adj.) Look up hellish at Dictionary.com
1520s, from hell + -ish. Related: Hellishly; hellishness. Earlier in same sense were helli "helly" (late 12c.); hellen "hellish, infernal" (c. 1200), with -en (2); and Old English hellic.
hello Look up hello at Dictionary.com
1883, alteration of hallo, itself an alteration of holla, hollo, a shout to attract attention, which seems to go back to at least c. 1400. Perhaps from holla! "stop, cease." OED cites Old High German hala, hola, emphatic imperative of halon, holon "to fetch," "used especially in hailing a ferryman." Fowler lists halloo, hallo, halloa, halloo, hello, hillo, hilloa, holla, holler, hollo, holloa, hollow, hullo, and writes, "The multiplicity of forms is bewildering ...." Popularity as a greeting coincides with use of the telephone, where it won out over Alexander Graham Bell's suggestion, ahoy. Central telephone exchange operators were known as hello-girls (1889).
Hello, formerly an Americanism, is now nearly as common as hullo in Britain (Say who you are; do not just say 'hello' is the warning given in our telephone directories) and the Englishman cannot be expected to give up the right to say hello if he likes it better than his native hullo. [H.W. Fowler, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," 1926]
Hells Angels (n.) Look up Hells Angels at Dictionary.com
motorcycle club, the name first attested 1957. They were called Black Rebels in the 1954 film "The Wild One." Earlier the phrase had been used as the title of a film about World War I air combat (1930).
helluva (adj.) Look up helluva at Dictionary.com
1910, attempt to represent the casual pronunciation of expression hell of a _____, which is attested from 1776 (see hell).
helm (n.1) Look up helm at Dictionary.com
"instrument by which a ship is steered," late 13c., from Old English helma "rudder; position of guidance, control," from Proto-Germanic *halbma- (cognates: Old Norse hjalm, Old High German helmo, German Helm "handle"), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve).
Helm - the handle or tiller, in large ships the wheel, by which the runner is managed; the word is sometimes used with reference to the whole stearing-gear.
Rudder - that part of the helm which consists of a broad piece of timber, enters the water, and is governed by means of the wheel or tiller.
Tiller - the bar or lever by means of which the rudder of a ship or boat is turned.
[J.H.A. Günther, "English Synonyms Explained & Illustrated," Groningen, 1904]
helm (n.2) Look up helm at Dictionary.com
"a helmet," c. 1200, from Old English helm "protection, covering; crown, helmet," and perhaps also from cognate Old Norse hjalmr, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz "protective covering," from PIE *kel- (2) "to cover, to hide" (see cell). Italian elmo, Spanish yelmo are from Germanic.
helmet (n.) Look up helmet at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., perhaps a diminutive of Old English helm "protection, covering; crown, helmet" (see helm (n.2)). But Barnhart says from Middle French helmet (Modern French heaume), diminutive of helme "helmet," from the same Germanic source as helm (n.2). "Middle English Dictionary" points to both without making a choice. "Old English helm never became an active term in the standard vocabulary of English." [Barnhart]
helmsman (n.) Look up helmsman at Dictionary.com
1620s, from helm (n.1) + man (n.).
helot (n.) Look up helot at Dictionary.com
1570s (with a capital -h-) "Spartan serf," from Greek Heilotes, plural of Heilos, popularly associated with Helos, Laconian town reduced to serfdom by Sparta, but perhaps related to Greek halonai "be captured." In extended use by 1820s.
help (v.) Look up help at Dictionary.com
Old English helpan (class III strong verb; past tense healp, past participle holpen) "help, support, succor; benefit, do good to; cure, amend," from Proto-Germanic *helpan (cognates: Old Norse hjalpa, Old Frisian helpa, Middle Dutch and Dutch helpen, Old High German helfan, German helfen), from PIE root *kelb- "to help" (cognates: Lithuanian selpiu "to support, help").

Recorded as a cry of distress from late 14c. Sense of "serve someone with food at table" (1680s) is translated from French servir "to help, stead, avail," and led to helping "portion of food." Related: Helped (c. 1300). The Middle English past participle holpen survives in biblical and U.S. dialectal use.
help (n.) Look up help at Dictionary.com
Old English help (m.), helpe (f.) "assistance, succor;" see help (v.). Most Germanic languages also have the noun form, such as Old Norse hjalp, Swedish hjälp, Old Frisian helpe, Dutch hulp, Old High German helfa, German Hilfe. Use of help as euphemism for "servant" is American English, 1640s, tied up in notions of class and race.
A domestic servant of American birth, and without negro blood in his or her veins ... is not a servant, but a 'help.' 'Help wanted,' is the common heading of advertisements in the North, when servants are required. [Chas. Mackay, "Life and Liberty in America," 1859].
Though help also meant "assistant, helper, supporter" in Middle English (c. 1200).
helper (n.) Look up helper at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., agent noun from help (v.). Helpestre "a female helper" is recorded from c. 1400. The Old English agent noun was helpend.
helpful (adj.) Look up helpful at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from help (n.) + -ful. Related: Helpfully; helpfulness.
helping (n.) Look up helping at Dictionary.com
"aid, assistance," late 13c., from present participle of help (v.). Meaning “serving food” is from 1824; that of “a portion of food” is from 1883.
helpless (adj.) Look up helpless at Dictionary.com
"unable to act for oneself," c. 1200, from help (n.) + -less. Related: Helplessly; helplessness. In Middle English and later sometimes also "unable to give help, affording no help" (late 14c.), but this was never common.
helpmate (n.) Look up helpmate at Dictionary.com
"companion," 1715, altered from helpmeet, a ghost word, from the Biblical translation of Latin adjutorium simile sibi [Gen. ii:18] as "an help meet (i.e. fit) for him" (Hebrew 'ezer keneghdo), which already by 1673 was being printed as help-meet and mistaken for one word.
helpmeet (n.) Look up helpmeet at Dictionary.com
as two words in the 1611 Bible, a noun-adjective phrase; hyphenated and mistaken as a modified noun by 1670s; see helpmate.
helter-skelter (adv.) Look up helter-skelter at Dictionary.com
also helter skelter, 1590s, perhaps from skelte "to hasten, scatter hurriedly," with the first element there merely for the sake of rhyme. As an adjective from 1785.
helve (n.) Look up helve at Dictionary.com
Old English helfe, hielfe "handle of an axe" or other tool or weapon, from Proto-Germanic *halb- (cognates: Old Saxon helvi, Middle Dutch helf, Old High German halb "handle of an axe," Old High German helmo "tiller"); related to halter and helm (1), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp." In Middle English, to holden the axe bi the helve (c. 1200) meant "to take something by the right end."
Helvetian (adj.) Look up Helvetian at Dictionary.com
"Swiss," 1550s, from Helvetia terra, Medieval Latin name of Switzerland, from Latin Helvetius "pertaining to the Helvetii," a Celtic people of ancient Gallia Lugdunensis.
hem (n.) Look up hem at Dictionary.com
Old English hem "a border," especially of cloth or a garment, from Proto-Germanic *hamjam (cognates: Old Norse hemja "to bridle, curb," Swedish hämma "to stop, restrain," Old Frisian hemma "to hinder," Middle Dutch, German hemmen "to hem in, stop, hinder"), from PIE *kem- "to compress." Apparently the same root yielded Old English hamm, common in place names (where it means "enclosure, land hemmed in by water or high ground, land in a river bend"). In Middle English, hem also was a symbol of pride or ostentation.
If þei wer þe first þat schuld puplysch þese grete myracles of her mayster, men myth sey of hem, as Crist ded of þe Pharisees, þat þei magnified her owne hemmys. [John Capgrave, "Life of Saint Gilbert of Sempringham," 1451]
hem (interj.) Look up hem at Dictionary.com
late 15c., probably imitative of the sound of clearing the throat. Hem and haw first recorded 1786, from haw "hesitation" (1630s; see haw (v.)); hem and hawk attested from 1570s.
hem (v.) Look up hem at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to provide (something) with a border or fringe" (surname Hemmer attested from c. 1300), from hem (n.). Related: Hemmed; hemming. The phrase hem in "shut in, confine," first recorded 1530s.
hematite (n.) Look up hematite at Dictionary.com
1540s, haematites, from Middle French hematite (16c.), from Latin haematites, from Greek haimatites lithos "bloodlike stone," from haima (genitive haimatos) "blood" (see -emia). Earlier as emachite (late 14c.).
hemato- Look up hemato- at Dictionary.com
also haemato-, word-forming element meaning "blood," from Greek haimato-, comb. form of haima (genitive haimatos) "blood" (see -emia).
hematoma (n.) Look up hematoma at Dictionary.com
1826, from hemato- + -oma.
hemi- Look up hemi- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "half," from Greek hemi- "half," from PIE root *semi-, which is the source of Sanskrit sami, Latin semi- (see semi-), Old High German sami- "half," and Old English sam-, denoting a partial or imperfect condition (see sandblind).
hemidemisemiquaver (n.) Look up hemidemisemiquaver at Dictionary.com
1848, from hemi- + demi- + semi- + quaver (n.).
hemisphere (n.) Look up hemisphere at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hemysperie, in reference to the celestial sphere, from Latin hemisphaerium, from Greek hemisphairion, from hemi- "half" (see hemi-) + sphaira "sphere" (see sphere). Spelling reformed 16c. Of the Earth, from 1550s; of the brain, 1804.
hemispheric (adj.) Look up hemispheric at Dictionary.com
1580s, from hemisphere + -ic.
hemistich (n.) Look up hemistich at Dictionary.com
"half a poetic line," 1570s, from Middle French hémistiche, from Latin hemistichium, from Greek hemistikhion "half-line, half-verse," from hemi- "half" (see hemi-) + stikhos "row, line of verse" (see stair).
hemline (n.) Look up hemline at Dictionary.com
1899, from hem (n.) + line (n.).
hemlock (n.) Look up hemlock at Dictionary.com
a poisonous plant, Old English (Kentish) hemlic, earlier hymlice, hymblice; of unknown origin. Liberman suggests from root hem- "poison," perhaps with the plant name suffix -ling or -ig. As the name of the poison derived from the plant, c. 1600. The North American tree so called from 1776, from resemblance of its leaves to those of the plant.
hemo- Look up hemo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "blood," perhaps via Old French hemo-, Latin haemo-, from Greek haimo-, from haima "blood" (see -emia).