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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. (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.


  • 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.


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

  1. Alternative letter-case form of jap

Proper nounEdit


  1. (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?”


  1. ^ Jap” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.