An online petition started in California - where the word 'hella' is slang for 'many' - is calling for the word to become an internationally recognised prefix, joining the likes of mega, kilo and giga.
The word would apply to figures with 27 zeros after the first digit.
Count on us: A group of maths fanatics have started a petition to prefix a digit with 27 zeroes with the word 'hella'
Supporters of the campaign believe recent breakthroughs in science mean the International System of Units (SI) needs to go further with its classification of long numbers.
More than 20,000 people - including scientists and students - have signed up to a petition on Facebook.
The largest number with a recognised designated prefix is a 'yotta' - a digit with 24 zeroes. It was recognised by the International Committee for Weights and Measures in 1991 along with zetta, for 21 zeroes.
Campaign organiser Austin Sendek, from the University of California, said the name hella would be an appropriate choice.
'Since the SI system has traditionally adopted the last names of accomplished scientists for unit nomenclature, it follows that prefix designation should do the same,' he said.
'From this tradition comes the chance for the SI system to use nomenclature to honor a constantly overlooked scientific contributor: Northern California.'
'The area is also notorious for the creation and widespread usage of the English slang 'hella,' which typically means 'very,' or can refer to a large quantity (e.g. 'there are hella stars out tonight').
The campaign has attracted the interest of a British chemist who helps advise the International Committee for Weights and Measures.
Professor Ian Mills of the University of Reading has promised to raise the petition at the September meeting of the Consultative Committee for Units, which advises the international committee.
He said he expected the campaign to be received with smiles, but 'doubted it would go further.'
He told the Daily Telegraph: 'The prefixes we introduced 20 years ago are still not widely used. There is no point making changes that nobody pays any attention to which would only make things more complicated.
'At the moment we are focusing on more pressing issues, such as redefining the weight of the kilogram. But he is correct to say that we will need prefixes to express a greater range of magnitudes as science advances. The very fact that a student is asking a question like this is very encouraging.'
Prof Mills suggested that a simpler option would be for the committee to relax rules banning compound prefixes, so that, for instance, a hella could be expressed as a kiloyotta.