gung ho

gung-ho

[guhng-hoh] Informal.
adjective
1.
wholeheartedly enthusiastic and loyal; eager; zealous: a gung-ho military outfit.
adverb
2.
in a successful manner: The business is going gung-ho.

Origin:
introduced as a training slogan in 1942 by U.S. Marine officer Evans F. Carlson (1896–1947) < Chinese gōng hé, the abbreviated name of the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society, taken by a literal translation as “work together”

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gung ho (ɡʌŋ həʊ)
 
adj
1.  extremely enthusiastic and enterprising, sometimes to excess
2.  extremely keen to participate in military combat
 
[C20: pidgin English, from Mandarin Chinese kung work + ho together]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gung ho
1942, slang motto of Carlson's Raiders, (2nd Marine Raider Battalion, under Lt. Col. Evans Carlson, 1896-1947), U.S. guerrilla unit operating in the Pacific in World War II, from Chinese kung ho "work together, cooperate." Widely adopted in Amer.Eng. c.1959.
"Borrowing an idea from China, Carlson frequently has what he calls 'kung-hou' meetings .... Problems are threshed out and orders explained." ["New York Times Magazine," Nov. 8, 1942]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

gung-ho definition


Extremely enthusiastic or zealous: “He was gung-ho about going on a vacation to the beach.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

gung ho

Also, gung-ho. Extremely enthusiastic or dedicated, as in She was gung ho about her new job. This expression was introduced in 1942 as a training slogan for a U.S. Marine battalion, derived from what an American officer thought were Mandarin Chinese words for "work together." It was actually an abbreviation for the name of Chinese industrial cooperatives.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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