gung ho

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See also: gungho and gung-ho


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From a catachresis of Mandarin 工合 (gōnghé), interpreted as (gōng, “work”) + (, “together”) to mean "to work together", itself an acronym for 工業合作社工业合作社 (Gōngyè Hézuòshè, “[Chinese] Industrial Cooperative Society”).[1][2] The interpretation "work together" was created by U.S. Marine Evans Carlson, who was posted in China during the 1930s. It became the motto and nickname of the enthusiastic battalion Carlson commanded, leading to other marines adopting the term to mean overly enthusiastic. It was popularized in the United States by the 1943 war film Gung Ho!, which profiled the battalion's leadership of the Raid on Makin Island during World War II.[3]



gung ho (comparative more gung ho, superlative most gung ho)

  1. (informal, derogatory) Overly enthusiastic or energetic.
    No matter how gung ho you are when you start, you will tire as you become mired in details.
  2. (informal, derogatory, military) Cocky, undisciplined, contemptuous of rules[3]



  1. ^ “Yingzi and "Gung Ho"”, in[1], 4 May 2003, retrieved 4 June 2020
  2. ^ “gung-ho”, in The Mavens' Word of the Day[2], Random House, 26 January 1998, retrieved 4 June 2020
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kung, Jess (18 October 2019) , “The Long, Strange Journey Of 'Gung-Ho'”, in NPR[3], retrieved 4 June 2020