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".
- (US) enPR: hŏnʹchō, IPA(key): /ˈhɑn.tʃo/, Hyphenation: HAHN-choh
- (UK) enPR: hŏnʹchō, IPA(key): /ˈhɒn.tʃəʊ/, Hyphenation: HON-choh
- Rhymes: -ɒntʃəʊ
honcho (plural honchos)
- 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