By Nurse Clara Dix

HEAD HONCHO: This is as redundant as first priority. The honcho is the head. Honcho comes to us form the Japanese for “squad leader” and became part of American English after World War II.

The honcho of a private school is the headmaster or headmistress, which is redundant in the same way as head honcho. But since a teacher is considered a master or mistress of students, “headmaster” and “headmistress” mean “head teacher.”

“Head Teacher” appears as a title in some schools and always makes me giggle. What a delightfully ambiguous term. Much more fun to think about than guidance counselor.