Origin: Chin, kung-ho, lit., work together: slogan of Lt. Col. E. F. Carlson's Marine Raiders in WWII
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
or gung-hoadjective Slang
Origin: Earlier Gung Ho, motto of certain U.S. Marine forces in Asia during World War II, from Chinese (Mandarin) gōnghé, to work together (short for gōngyèhézuòshè, Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society) : gōng, work + hé, together.Our Living Language Most of us are not aware of it today, but the word gung ho has been in English only since 1942 and is one of the many words that entered the language as a result of World War II. It comes from Mandarin Chinese gōnghé, “to work together,” which was used as a motto by the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society. Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson (1896-1947) borrowed the motto as a moniker for meetings in which problems were discussed and worked out; the motto caught on among his Marines (the famous “Carlson's Raiders”), who began calling themselves the “Gung Ho Battalion.” From there eager individuals began to be referred to as gung ho. Other words and expressions that entered English during World War II include flak, gizmo, task force, black market, and hit the sack.
gung-ho - Cultural Definition
Extremely enthusiastic or zealous: “He was gung-ho about going on a vacation to the beach.”