Definitions for gung-hoˈgʌŋˈhoʊ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word gung-ho

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  1. Gung-ho

    Gung ho is a term in American English used to mean "enthusiastic" or "dedicated". Gung ho is an anglicised pronunciation of "gōng hé", which is also sometimes anglicised as "kung ho". Gōng hé is a shortened version and slogan of the "gōngyè hézuòshè" or Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, which was abbreviated as INDUSCO in English. The two Chinese characters "gōng" and "hé" are translated individually as "work" and "together". The linguist Albert Moe studied both the origin and the usage in English. He concludes that the term is an "Americanism that is derived from the Chinese, but its several accepted American meanings have no resemblance whatever to the recognized meaning in the original language" and that its "various linguistic uses, as they have developed in the United States, have been peculiar to American speech." In Chinese, concludes Moe, "this is neither a slogan nor a battle cry; it is only a name for an organization." The term was picked up by United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson from his New Zealand friend, Rewi Alley, one of the founders of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: "I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together-Work in Harmony...."


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