gung ho

Gung-ho

[guhng-hoh]
Gung-ho is a phrase taken from the Chinese language. The original Mandarin Chinese phrase is Gōnghé (工合), a standard abbreviation for gōngyè hézuòshè (工業合作社), meaning industrial worker's cooperative, in the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (INDUSCO) established by Rewi Alley and his comrades and later spread to other parts of China during the World War II years.

The phrase entered the American vernacular when it was picked up by then-United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson, According to Carlson, it was used as a slogan by the World War II-era Communist Party of China's 8th Route Army, led by Zhu De. The phrase was originally coined by Rewi Alley, a New Zealander. Carlson traveled with the 8th and with Rewi Alley. Later he used gung ho during his (unconventional) command of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. From there it spread throughout the U.S. Marine Corps (hence the association between the two) and into American society as a whole when the phrase became the title of a 1943 war film, Gung Ho!, about the 2nd Raider Battalion's raid on Makin Island in 1942. It is now used to mean "excessively enthusiastic, overzealous".

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