in (the) Sam Hill?

(redirected from in Sam Hill)

in (the) Sam Hill?

Used as an intensifier after a question word (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to express extreme confusion, surprise, or aggravation. Often erroneously written or pronounced as "in Sam Hell." Primarily heard in US. And just how in Sam Hill am I supposed to have three reports done by 9 AM tomorrow? Where in the Sam Hill did you find that rusty old car? Who in Sam Hill is making all that noise?
See also: SAM
References in periodicals archive ?
Wilstach, author of A Dictionary of Similes, the expression what in Sam Hill occurred at least as early as 1839 (in the Elmira, New York, Republican ), and seems to have been well established in usage at that time.