Antedating of "Gung Ho"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat May 24 18:07:31 UTC 2008

According to the Shogakukan Random House English-Japanese Dictionary
(1994), gung ho is from the Chinese 工合 (gōng hé) from a six-
character compound 軽工業合作社, which based on my understanding
of Japanese, I read to mean approximately "light industrial
cooperative", and is stated as having been interpreted to mean "let's
work together". They give the citation of 1942 by Carlson. BB

On May 24, 2008, at 10:55 AM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:

> Carlson used "gung ho" in all seriousness, although it later became
> a =
> light-hearted slang term. Carlson had been the sole U.S. military =
> observer of the Chinese Communist Eight Route Army in its resistance
> to =
> the Japanese in the 1930s, and he was deeply impressed with that
> army's =
> philosophy on motivation/morale.  When WWII came, he applied its =
> principles to his own unit.=20
> As for his selecting the term "gung ho," he evidently misunderstood =
> "gung ho" when he was in China.  The term already existed in the
> 1930s =
> but in an entirely different meaning; it was an abbreviated form of =
> eight Chinese words which together meant "Chinese Industrial =
> Cooperative. Carlson somehow thought the words referred to the army =
> philosophy on motivation/morale.

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