honcho

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Japanese 班長 (はんちょう, hanchō, squad leader), from 19th c. Mandarin bānzhǎng 班長 "team leader". Probably entered English during World War II: many apocryphal stories describe American soldiers hearing Japanese prisoners-of-war refer to their lieutenants as "hanchō".

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

honcho (plural honchos)

  1. boss, leader
    • 1983: Max Von Sidewinder (aka Sydow) is back to play Spectre's head honcho, only now we see his face! — net.movies, 7 Nov 1983
    • 2001: Gulfstream makes jets for both Hollywood honchos and foreign governments like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. — Michael Moore, Stupid White Men, 2001, p.22

Derived terms[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

honcho

  1. rōmaji reading of ほんちょ