Who’s the Head Honcho Here?

The term head honcho is sometimes used to describe the leader, president, or most powerful person in an organization or company.

The word head here means “top” or “best.” In some schools in England, for example, there is a “head boy” or “head girl” who is chosen to be the leader of the students, and is often one of the best students in the school.

The headquarters of a company is the main or “leading” location for that business. On a car, the headlights are in the front position.

The word honcho is an unusual one, and you will typically only find it in the expression, “head honcho,” although it can be used by itself. The word is thought by some to come from the Japanese word hancho, which was a leader of a group.

One story is that American soldiers returning from World Word II brought the word back with them and popularized it in American English.

Sadly, I am not really the head honcho of ESLPod.com (or anything else), but I did find this nameplate (see photo) at a store last weekend I may put on my desk.


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