gung ho

Pronounced: gung hoe

Notes: I assume nearly everyone know the meaning of this phrase; I’ve included it because I found the background interesting.

Yesterday’s word

The word oniomania means “the uncontrollable urge to but things” – we tend to use “shop-a-holic” to describe someone instead of this word. Ah, English, with the many ways to say something!

First usage

This word showed up in English in the early 1900s

Background / Comments

I am sure you recognized the Greek ending -manía (madness; insanity). The other one looks like it should be onion-related, but is actually the Greek word ṓnios (sale), which comes from the Greek word ônos (price). I’m sure that online buying has made it so easy to indulge in one’s oniomania; one used to have to drive somewhere to indulge in buying, or at least use a catalog with a lengthy delay between order and delivery… so many things today are delivered next-day or within a day or two.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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