honcho v.

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 4 15:52:23 UTC 2011

JSB: Well, that was careless of me at 5 AM. Worse yet, I missed it after
several passes.

JL: the AS 1955 definition blames it on pilots who were stationed in
Japan. Are there any printed materials?

I do have an antedating, however, for the noun. And it's a full view!

LIFE. Nov 6, 1944
Japanes Civilians on Saipan: Americans Can't Help From Helping People in
Trouble. [photo caption]. p. 47
> At communal bathing center men and women bathe together, in keeping
> with Japanese custom. People in camp do everything in groups. They
> have a passion for organization. Unit within camp is the /han/ and its
> leader is called /hancho/.

There have been three different suggestion as to the origin. One picked
out US POWs in Japanese camps. Another--Japanese POWs in US camps. The
third identifies the pilots stationed in Japan. It now appears all three
were in play.


On 10/4/2011 9:18 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> Victor, I think you missed in the OED under
> "honcho, n." -- "Hence as v. trans., to oversee; to be in charge of."
> Admittedly, the heading "honcho, n." seems a bit limited.
> Joel
> At 10/4/2011 04:45 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>> In fact, the third OED quotation has a verb, not a noun:
>>> 1964 Sat. Rev. (U.S.) 10 Oct. 82/2   Jack Bullock, who honchoes the
>>> CuraƧao casino.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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