Antedating of "Gung Ho"

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sat Apr 12 19:18:19 UTC 2014

Carlson's Raider Battalion was formed in February 1942, and in his introductory speech to his men (presumably that same month) Carlson set his agenda by explaining his philosophy of "gung ho" (his speech is given in Michael Blankfort, _The Big Yankee_, 1947, pp. 24-25).

For further detail, cf. my article "'Gung ho' revisited," in:
Gerald Leonard Cohen, _Studies in Slang_, Part IV (= Forum Anglicum, vol. 21, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 1995, pp. 1-50.

Gerald Cohen

 Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM] wrote, Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:57 PM:

"Gung ho," of course, never meant "work together" in Chinese. It meant
"work" plus "together."

If the article Fred cites has nothing to do with USMC Col. Evans Carlson it
would be quite a discovery.

HDAS has the story you won't find in the 1972 OED....


On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at>wrote:
> gung ho (OED 1943)
> 1941 _China Weekly Review_ 19 Apr. 232 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
>  There is a new battle cry in China today.  It is Gung-ho, and it means "Work
> together!" ... Gung-ho is China's answer to invasion and blockage.  It is
> the slogan of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, which have created a
> system of "guerrilla industry" to supply the fighting forces.
> Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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