AskDefine | Define Jap

Dictionary Definition

Jap n : a person of Japanese descent [syn: Nip]

User Contributed Dictionary

see JAP



Shortened from Japanese


  • /dʒæp/
  • Rhymes with: -æp


  1. (pejorative, racial slur) A Japanese person.


Related terms


  1. pejorative ethnic slur Japanese; of or pertaining to Japan or its people.

Extensive Definition

otheruses JAP Jap is a term originally used as an English abbreviation of the word "Japanese." Today it is regarded as an ethnic slur, though English-speaking countries differ in the degree they consider the term offensive. Japanese Americans have come to find the term controversial or offensive, even when used as an abbreviation. In the past, Jap was not considered primarily offensive; however, after the events of World War II, the term became derogatory.
The official three-letter and two-letter international country codes (ISO 3166) for Japan are JPN and JP, while the international language codes (ISO 639) for Japanese are jpn and ja (not jp).

History and etymology

The first recorded use of Jap was in 1860 to refer to members of the Japanese embassy in the United States. An example of benign usage was the previous naming of Boondocks Road in Jefferson County, Texas, originally named "Jap Road" when it was built in 1905 to honor a popular local rice farmer from Japan.
Later popularized during World War II to describe those of Japanese descent, Jap was then commonly used in newspaper headlines to refer to the Japanese and Imperial Japan. "Jap" became a derogatory term during the war, more so than "Nip." In the United Kingdom it is considered derogatory, and the Oxford dictionary defines it as offensive.
In 2003, the Japanese deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Yoshiyuki Motomurea, protested the North Korean ambassador's use of the term in retaliation for a Japanese diplomat's use of the term "North Korea" instead of the official name, "Democratic People's Republic of Korea".
In Texas, under pressure from civil rights groups, Jefferson County commissioners in 2004 decided to drop the name "Jap Road" from a 4.3-mile road near the city of Beaumont. Also in adjacent Orange County, "Jap Lane" has also been targeted by civil rights groups. The road was originally named for the contributions of Kichimatsu Kishi and the farming colony he founded.

Across the World

In Singapore and Hong Kong, the term is used freely as a contraction of the adjective "Japanese".
The Australian news service Asia Pulse also uses the term.
In 1970, the Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada opened the "Jungle Jap" boutique in Paris.
In Japan itself, most Japanese are apathetic about the term, according to a 2004 study. The domain JAP.COM is currently registered to a Kato Takahiro and runs from a server based in Japan.

See also

Jap in Korean: 잽
Jap in Japanese: ジャップ
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