How is the word `honcho’ pronounced, and what does it mean?

The first `o’ is pronounced like the `o’ in `hot’, `pot’, and `dot’; the second sounds like the `o’ in `so’, `go’, and `no’. The `ch’ is like the `ch’ in `chips’, `cheap’, and `chew’. The main stress is on the first syllable `hon’. The word is considered slang, and is mostly used in American English in informal contexts. It can be used both as a noun and a verb. Anyone who is the boss or the leader can be referred to as a `honcho’. The word is of Japanese origin and can be used with both men and women.

Example: Meera, the top honcho in the accounts department, listened patiently to our problem.

When used as a verb, `honcho’ means to manage or direct something.

Examples: “Did Revathi tell you who is likely to honcho the project?” * Amrit is honchoing preparations for the forthcoming seminar.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ (The Hindu) – December 11, 2006


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