Monday 24 October 2011

The Origin Of 'Gung Ho'

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According to the dictionary gung ho means extremely enthusiastic and dedicated. Most of us are not aware of it today, but gung ho has been in English only since 1942 and is one of the many words that entered the language as a result of World War II. It comes from Mandarin Chinese gonghe, 'to work together,' which was used as a motto by the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society.

Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson borrowed the motto as a moniker for meetings in which problems were discussed and worked out; the motto caught on among his Marines, who began calling themselves the 'Gung Ho Battalion.' From there eager individuals began to be referred to as gung ho.

(via Humanyms)

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Here's an old saying that got shortened for some unknown reason. That old saying: "Tell it to the Marines" was originally longer than that. The original version was this: "Tell it to the Marines, because the Navy won't listen."

Anonymous said...

How did it go from Gunghe to GungHo?