hèllä;/hellah; /rhymes with fella.
Definition: Term used to describe a noun or verb, placing special importance on them. The meaning is seen when used in context. It can place happy or sad overtones on a situation. It resembles the word very.
Attested: I first heard this term being used August of 1997. I was walking into the football locker room and the upperclassmen were speaking of the new locker room.
Example: "I think the pie is hella good." "Cornell has hella smart people."
Etymology: The term originated at Cornell in the early 90's. The exact date is not really known. Students were known to use the phrase "go to Hell!", but after taking several religion classes they found it to be sacreligious. So they changed the phrase into an adjective that could explain every situation, this word was Hella. It can be used in any context and be placed anywhere in a sentence. The term is most often used when referring to everyday conversation. A day can be hella coo, but also hella cold, thereby making two similar sentences totally different. It is universal and a piece of Cornell history.
- Anthony Smulski
ho-tel-ee / hotele /; rhymes with "jelly"
Definition: a student attending Cornell University and enrolled in the Hotel School of Management.
Attested: I first came across this term during orientation week at Cornell University in the language of the students.
Example: "The Hotelie never seemed to have schoolwork to do."
Etymology: To my knowledge, this word is only used as a nickname for students attending the hotel school at Cornell University. This term has been bestowed upon hotel students for generations, becoming part of the rich Cornell tradition. These students are stereotyped as having an easy life, with little work or obligation. When a Hotelie uses the term, it is expressed with pride and excitement. In most situations when a student in another college uses the term, it is used with a "poke fun" mentality. The Hotelies do not, typically, receive a great deal of respect from the rest of the student body.