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What does the phrase "for the heck of it" mean?

For example, I just found this in a book:

— I just dusted the dining room for the heck of it!
— How thoughtful of you!

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Are looking just for definition, or for some background on origin? If the latter, it means "I don't have a good reason, I just did it." –  cobaltduck Apr 30 '13 at 20:49
    
Would be nice to know the origin as well, but I guess Sam already described it below =) –  msgmaxim Apr 30 '13 at 21:24
    
    
That was my first question, now I've realized what kind of questions can be asked here. –  msgmaxim May 12 '13 at 20:43
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closed as general reference by Kris, Andrew Leach, tchrist, choster, aedia λ May 2 '13 at 3:50

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

It's a minced oath version of "for the hell of it" which means without a particular reason, typically done for fun or enjoyment (fun and enjoyment being presumably things you would go to hell for).

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Heck may be freely substituted for hell in any idiom. BTW, "minced oath" is a 19th century term and means nothing to most English speakers; the modern one is Euphemism, which is probably not in most vocabularies, either, but has the benefit of being widely used and searchable. –  John Lawler Apr 30 '13 at 21:53
    
What is wrong with idioms.thefreedictionary.com/for+the+heck+of+it The OP asked for the meaning, not a hypernym. –  Kris May 1 '13 at 5:35
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