I have seen the term used when calling out for a taxi, but I thought it was a term meaning boss.


Honcho in English is an "英製和語" term derived from 班長【はんちょう】. In Japanese 班長【はんちょう】 refers to the head of a small group/team, and it's not really a big word. 班【はん】 means a team/group/squad of typically 3–10 people. Practically, you will never see romanized 班長 in Japan, and the normal romanized spelling of 班長 is hancho, not honcho.

If you saw Honcho on a signboard in Japan, it's probably 本町【ほんちょう】. It's just another place name which literally means "main town". There are hundreds of districts called 本町 all over Japan.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.