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  • Thursday, May 08, 2008

    Learning English and Japanese from my Peruvian colleague.

    So a colleague of mine asked me this morning if I knew the etymology of the word "tycoon." I didn't, so he explained.

    "Tycoon" comes from the Japanese word "taikun" (which is pronounced similarly to tycoon), meaning essentially "big man". The Japanese characters are 大君 (たいくん, taikun), a title for the shogun.

    Kewl, eh?

    He learned it because his kid's school included it as part of their lessons/announcements/PSAs to celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage month.

    I was impressed.

    I told him about "honcho" (as in "head honcho"), but that was the best I could do. I think a tycoon bests a honcho any day.

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