It's an odd thing, but sometimes Estonian and American cultures cross-over in unforseen ways. Sure there's the small linguistic coincidences -- Estonians call pizza pitsa -- but then there are the bubbles of mixed meanings that appear out of thin air.
Today, I received an e-mail from a woman named Hella, and I realized that 'hella' is also a New England slang word that adds emphasis, as in "Teddy got hella laid in Martha's Vineyard."
In New York nobody would say something is 'hella cool', but up in Boston, the Sam Adams beer is 'hella refreshing', the recent study in The International Journal of Rural Psychology is 'hella intriguing', and the pizza in Cambridge is 'hella good', only one stage below 'wicked' -- the ultimate expression of joy for any Red Sox fan.
Whenever I read or hear the name of someone whose first name is 'Hella' I automatically expect that a) their last name will be the noun that is intensified; and b) the rest of their commentary will be your usual irritating Masshole fare, along the lines of "Yankees suck."
If an Estonian person's name is Hella Must, I therefore assume she is extremely dirty. If her name is Hella Lemmik, then she's my absolute favorite. And if I hear the name Hella, warning bells go off preparing me to hear a tale about a catastrophic journey on the T -- the Boston area's mass transit system, bereft of the letter 'r'.
These are subtle linguistic detours that few in the world are bound to experience.