noundialect, euphemistic, rare US
Used in exclamatory and imprecatory phrases in which hell is more common.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Tappan Thompson (1812–1882). Origin uncertain; a derivation from Bally-, a frequent first element of place-names in Ireland (from Irish baile town, village) + hack, variant of heck [interjection], has been suggested, but neither the relative chronology of attestation nor the forms of heck [interjection] appear to support this suggestion. There is a village named Ballyhack in Co. Wexford, Ireland, but the connection, if any, is unclear.