Contraction of "Hell of..."
MEANING: "A lot of..." but not just in terms of quantity, but also magnatude.
*That greek def. (see above) is insane- whatever... "Hecka" was what a suburban loser from Walnut Creek (or Hayward) might say, simply because the word "Hell" as in "Hell-a" wasn't as commonly permitted in Sunday-school-going areas.
"His Vans are hella cool"
"Yeah... Jessie's hella fine"
Circa 1987 (B.H.S.)
"That party was hella weak"
"There were hella fools up here"
"He slings hella weed"
Adjective: To describe a lot of something or something good.
Noun: A lot of
Adverb: Suplemental, inferrs a great quantity or that you're doing something and DOING IT RIGHT!
Interjection: An affirmation of what someone just said
Noun: I have hella.
Adverb: The Bay areais fuckin hella better than socal
Interjection: Nicole: Dude that shit was off tha hook
Thusly, if the receiver is not of the same geography and stature, negative emotions arise from envy. A primary example is that of the frustrated SoCal dweller who is frequently subjected to the mighty and humbling presence of NorCalers.
Alternatively, Hella can alert other prestigious NorCalers that they are dealing with a higher species much like themselves.
SoCaler: "Huh? Wha? Hella? That sounds dumb."
NorCaler: "No sir. You sir are Hella dumb. Good day."
SoCaler: "Oh yah. You're...dumbererer. Keanu rules!!"
Used mostly in Northern California though has been heard in other parts of CA and even in the media such as an infamous "hella" South Park episode. (Cartman used it outside of its meaning to annoy Kyle.)
After: There's hella beer in that fridge.
As "very" or "really":
"That's hella far away!"
It's a contraction of "hell of", and may have originated in Alameda County, California. It was definitely in common use in Berkeley public schools as far back as 1979.