Posted by James Briggs on December 01, 2001
In Reply to: Gung ho posted by PM O'Donoghue on November 30, 2001
: NZer Rewi Alley set up an industrial co-operative movement in rural China in the 30s and 40s called Gung Ho. Somehow US troops in the Pacific theatre during WWII started using Gung Ho. If, or how the link between the two, can be established I don't know yet. Regards, Slán nui.
Here's what The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, 1999 has to say:
gung-ho adj. [1940s+] (orig. US) often of soldiers or sportsmen, enthusiastic, usu. aggressively so. [Chinese keng ho, awe-inspiring (lit. 'more fiery')]. The term was initially popularized as the motto of the US Marine Corps Second Raider Battalion, introduced there in 1942 by Lieut. Col. Evans F.Carlson] .
gung-ho adv. [1940s+] enthusiastically, vigorously. [GUNG-HO adj.]