See also: JAP, jap, Jap., and jap.



Shortened from Japanese, attested as a noun since 1872, and adjectivally since 1878.[1] Compare Nip (shortened from Nippon).


  • IPA(key): /dʒæp/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æp


Jap (plural Japs)

  1. (countable, derogatory, ethnic slur) A Japanese person.
    • 1872, James Brooks, A Seven Months' Run, Up, and Down, and Around the World:
      Among our Japs on board are two returning from Italy, where they have been with silk-worms' eggs, on cards, to sell. This has become a great speculation, and the Japs are going into it with zeal. The Japs almost always—always when they can—take cabin passages ; the Chinese seldom, or never.
  2. (uncountable, slang, ethnic slur) The Japanese language.
    • 2007, Les A. Murray, Fredy Neptune (page 239)
      He petered out under Pitty's savage look: Do you speak Jap? Do you understand the world from inside those bastards' slanty-eyed little head-lopping poem-writing minds?
    • 2012, Robert Conroy, Rising Sun:
      He said it in Japanese, which surprised the boy and stunned Cullen.
      “You speak Jap?” asked Cullen.
      “Looks like it, doesn't it?”
  3. (informal, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia) Short for Japanese.


  • Japanese (neutral; non-offensive)
  • Nip (pejorative, ethnic slur)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



Jap (not comparable)

  1. (derogatory, ethnic slur) Japanese; of or pertaining to Japan or its people.
    • 1951, James Albert Michener, The Voice of Asia (page 6)
      A soldier might grab his rifle and batter his way to the heart of some Jap position. Back home they gave him all sorts of medals but his companions dismissed him as the poor bastard who finally went Asiatic.


Jap (third-person singular simple present Japs, present participle Japping, simple past and past participle Japped)

  1. Alternative letter-case form of jap


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “Jap”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.



Alternative formsEdit


Shortening of Japanner, Japans, etc..



Jap m (plural Jappen)

  1. (derogatory, ethnic slur, usually offensive, unofficial spelling) A Jap, a Japanese person.

Usage notesEdit

  • Though the officially prescribed spelling is jap, the term is often written with a capital by analogy with demonyms.
  • Generally considered offensive. In polite language it is only used in historical derived terms like jappenkamp.

Derived termsEdit


Alternative formsEdit


From Hakka ().

Proper nounEdit


  1. A surname, from Hakka​.