I'm always a little surprised to find that a common English word that I don't associate with Asia derives directly from an East Asian or South Asian root.

I've known for a while, for example, that "honcho" (which always sounded Spanish to me) comes from Japanese "hansho," "squad leader." (First appeared in English in 1955! Much more recent than I'd have expected.)

But it was only recently that I learned that "cushy" comes from a Hindi word meaning "pleasant." And ultimately from Persian, so I guess that's originally more Middle Eastern than South Asian; still, not where I would've expected it to come from.

One Response to “cushy”

  1. Steve

    The Japanese is actually “hancho”, not “hansho”. “Cho” means chief or head.


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