from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who is in charge; a manager or leader: "Now that Hollywood honchos have discovered the verdant beachfront villages, the stores have grown in scope and sophistication” ( David Field).
  • transitive v. To direct or manage: "He . . . is honchoing preparations for the forthcoming . . . economic summit” ( Newsweek).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. boss, leader

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who exercises control over workers


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Japanese hanchō, squad leader : han, squad (from Middle Chinese pa·n, arrangement, class) + chō, chief (from Middle Chinese trinodotst.gifaŋ).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Japanese 班長 (はんちょう, hanchō, "squad leader"), probably via American English. Apocryphal stories abound regarding American soldiers hearing Japanese POW's refer to their lieutenants by this phrase during World War II.


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  • A Japanese word meaning "squad leader" and first came into usage in the English language during the American occupation of Japan following World War II.

    May 7, 2008