February 21, 2017
honcho (noun)
\HAHN-choh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: boss : big shot; also : hotshot
How do you use it?
Mr. Brady put Morgan and Jayden in charge of the school newspaper, calling them the paper's "head honchos."
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What language do you think gave us the word "honcho"?

The roots of "honcho" are "han," the Japanese word for "squad," and "cho," meaning "head" or "chief." "Honcho" goes back to the U.S. presence in Japan following World War II. While we're not sure how it found its way into American military vocabulary in the mid-1950s, we do know that the Japanese applied the word "hancho" to certain British or Australian officers. After it was adapted into English, "honcho" only gained general popularity in the 1960s, when it was often used in connection with politics. It has also been occasionally used as a verb meaning "to supervise."
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