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Hellzapoppin

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Hellzapoppin

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:09 pm

• hellzapoppin •


Pronunciation: hel-zê-pah-pin • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Chaotic, clamorous, action-packed, powerfully exciting, swashbuckling. 2. Flashy, ostentatious, flamboyant, resplendent, excessively jazzy.

Notes: Due to the unusual origin of this word and the rarity of its use, this word has not had the time or inclination to propagate. It was made popular by the 1938 musical review Hellzapoppin' starring the then famous comedy team of Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson. In 1941 it was immortalized in a movie. Which reminds me—if you wish, you may add an apostrophe to the end of this word: hellzapoppin'.

In Play: The original sense of hellzapoppin runs the gamut from "highly exciting" to "chaotic": "Ally Katz was arrested for starting a hellzapoppin brawl at the hair-dressers Saturday afternoon." It can also mean "strikingly flashy": "Did you see that hellzapoppin outfit that Maude Lynn Dresser wore to the party? I couldn't believe my eyes."

Word History: Today's Good Word is so outlandish it could only have come from the US. As mentioned in the Notes, it arose sometime in the 1930s. It was originally the phrase hell is (a)popping, which meant "events are evolving in a chaotic manner". This phrase is remindful of the phrase, currently used far more often than today's word, all hell breaks loose. Hell shares a source with hole and holster. Hold in the sense of a ship's hold originates from the same Proto-Indo-European word that oddly seems to have meant "cover". Pop is onomatopoetic, of imitative origin.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby MTC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:30 am

Hellszapoppin and Heavenszawatin!

(Apocrypha)
Last edited by MTC on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:27 pm

That's a 'mellofahess'.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby MTC » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:49 pm

Luke, it took me several futile search attempts under "mellofahess" before I realized the letters unscramble to "hell of a mess." By devilishly disarranging the order of the letters and combining them in one word the anagram enacts its own meaning, "hell of a mess." Clever word play.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:29 pm

It was a "my mother's" -ism. Not as good as yours,
but came to mind immediately upon reading yours.
Sorry to confuse you.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby Slava » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:23 pm

LukeJavan8 wrote:That's a 'mellofahess'.

Great euphemism! Now all I've got to do is remember it so I can use it when the opportunity arises.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:26 pm

All of us rednecks recognize mellofahess and have doubtless been in a few. Thanks Luke. If you write it with spaces as mell of a hess, it comes across quickly to even the uninitiated.
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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:27 am

Slava wrote:
LukeJavan8 wrote:That's a 'mellofahess'.

Great euphemism! Now all I've got to do is remember it so I can use it when the opportunity arises.



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Re: Hellzapoppin

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:28 am

Philip Hudson wrote:All of us rednecks recognize mellofahess and have doubtless been in a few. Thanks Luke. If you write it with spaces as mell of a hess, it comes across quickly to even the uninitiated.



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