vemynal wrote:actually im with keydar on this one, ive never heard sam hill but ive heard sam hell before if not often
That very well may have been due to the accent of the person you heard say it..
Used and an intensive:
What in the Sam Hill is going on?
What the Sam Hill are you doing?
Sam Hill is considered a soft replacement for hell or damn.
Used in 19th century America by frontiersmen, especially when they needed to clean up their language in the presence of ladies.
First used in print in 1839; in America, Seattle Newspaper. Jim Hill, the legendary "empire builder", whose railroads, including the Great Northern, remained his last monument, 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 include "go like Sam Hill" or "run like Sam Hill".
In reference to Col. Samuel Hill who perpetually ran for office in the late 19th Century.