way the hell and gone

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way the hell and gone

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:10 pm

In the novel the following was spoken by a resident of Quebec City, Canada:
<2010 “I had no idea he lived in the woods. He was way the hell and gone.”—Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, page 124>
I couldn’t find this phrase listed in any dictionaries, although from the quotes below I did find it to be a subset of the expression to hell and gone:

TO HELL AND GONE: U.S. [early 20th century and still in use]: 1) Very far away; a long way off. <The next town is to hell and gone.> 2) A very long time, forever. <She can keep talking to hell and gone.> 3) Lost completely. <All my hard work to hell and gone.> (American Heritage Dictionary, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, and McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs)

The following definition was inferred from the quotes below, which were taken from archived sources:

WAY THE HELL AND GONE: At an out-of-the-way location, at a relatively remote place; at a great distance, a long way off, far away.
<1946 “‘Way the hell and gone out there,’ he said, ‘no girls, no peace, a guy has to have some fun.’”—New York Times, 13 January>

<1975 “The address was a little shanty on a dirt road next to a garbage dump, way the hell and gone on the Northside.”—Texas Monthly, September, Vol. 3, No. 9, page 128>

<1996 “I was way the hell and gone in the bush before I ever got word he was dead.”—By Southern Playwrights: Plays from Actor’s Theatre of Louisville by Dixon & Volansky, page 31>

<2000 “You see, I got this half-ass ranch way the hell and gone out Spring Ridge, which is about a hundred and fifty crow-miles north of Trisco, couple of miles inland from the coast.”— Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic by D. Auiler, page 7>

<2004 “Tucked back in here way the hell and gone from civilization.”—Talks With Crows by S. Buttress, page 163>

<2008 “The crime scene was way the hell and gone up in the foothills . . .”—Skeleton Lake by M. Doogan, page 11>

<2012 “The construction project was way the hell and gone from where Allen would have been launching canoes.”—Dallas Observer (Texas), 4 October>

Ken G – January 4, 2013

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