In English, honcho means leader or manager. Journalists increasingly like to use this word while speaking about anything from a business leader to the head of FIFA. But what does it mean in Spanish?


Well, actually honcho is not a Spanish word, or even an English word of Spanish origin.

Honcho actually comes from the Japanese word 班長 (はんちょう) pronounced hanchō, and meaning squad leader. It seems that it has crossed into English during World War II, as American prisoners of war heard their Japanese captors referring to their own lieutenants as hanchos.

So much for the sound-based etymology!