Possibly OT: FW: Japs (for "jalapenos")

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Thu Jan 3 15:47:19 UTC 2008

Barry sent the message below to select ads-lers, and I now foward it to the entire list. It's of possible interest to lexicographers, food-terminology enthusiasts, and students of political incorrectness in American speech.

Gerald Cohen


From: Barry Popik [mailto:bapopik at gmail.com]
Sent: Thu 1/3/2008 3:12 AM
Subject: Japs (for "jalapenos")

The work on "turds" (Wolf Turds, Dragon Turds, Atomic Buffalo Turds)
made me realize that "japs" (for "jalapenos") is widely used. I made a
post of it--no web page adequately addresses "jap," and it's not yet
in dictionaries.
There's a post from the American Dialect Society below. I would send
this directly to ADS-L, but I now realize that a language-related food
posting would offend everyone.
Japs (short for "jalapeños")
The jalapeño is an official state pepper of Texas. The abbreviated
name for the jalapeño is not "jal" or "hal" (as it would be
pronounced) or even "hap," but it's "jap" (as in "Jap" for
"Japanese"). The abbreviation has existed since at least the 1980s.

Needless to say, there is much confusion between "jap" (meaning
"jalapeño") and "Jap" (meaning "Japan" or "Japanese"). There is also
the "Japones Chile" (or "Chile Japones"), which is not a "jalapeño" at
all. This, too. is sometimes called a "jap."

Purcell Mountain Farms
Japones Chiles
The Japones Chile (Capsicum Annuum) is a small, pointed chile, 2
inches long and 1/2 inch wide. This chile is similar in appearance to
the De Arbol. Though the walls of the Japones are thicker. Dried
Japones Chiles are medium hot and good with Asian dishes. On the heat
scale, this chile is 5-6.Scoville heat units 15,000 to 35,000.

Suggested Use:
Japones Chiles are medium hot and frequently found in spicier Asian
and Oriental dishes. Used in Thai Basil Curry dishes and Hot Peanut
Sauces. Crush a few pods and add them to your next stir fry.

Google Groups: net.cooks
Newsgroups: net.cooks
From: hp-pcd!tw
Date: Tue Apr 12 04:40:15 1983
Local: Tues, Apr 12 1983 4:40 am
Subject: Re: What are these chilies? - (nf)

As for Japanese chilis (often called jap peppers, which is easy to
confuse with jalapenos if you're not paying attention), these are a
variety developed by the Japanese which are pretty similar to anchos,
although usually smaller.  They're also usually easier to get.

Google Groups: rec.food.recipes
Newsgroups: rec.food.recipes
Followup-To: poster
From: hz22... at unidui.uni-duisburg.de (Micaela Pantke)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 93 10:31:36 +0200
Local: Thurs, Aug 19 1993 3:31 am
Subject: COLLECTION: Diverse Sauces (long)

1 hot chili (serrano or Jap).

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: hu... at asb.com
Date: 1995/07/22
Subject: Re: Jalapeno Burns

Just thought I might add my two cents. This goes mostly for men. When
working with jap. or chili peppers make sure to wash your hands real
well **before** going to the bathroom to urinate. As a cook for both
TGI Fridays and Bennigans this was drilled into us often! Yet some
people had to learn the hard way, can you say Emergancy Room!

Google Groups: rec.crafts.brewing
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.brewing
From: daniel.fernan... at solar.org (Daniel Fernandez)
Date: 1995/08/14
Subject: Re: need chili beer advice

T>Hey folks--
T>This weekend I plan to make a batch of California common.  I want
T>to split the batch and use part to make a chili beer.  I plan to
T>bottle--if I can remember how--it with a jap or sorreno in each
T>bottle.  The question is:  Do most folks with experience making
T>chili beers add other chili spices to the ferment? or just the
T>heat in the bottle?  If other spices are added, any guidelines?
T>THANKS for any suggestions!  --Tad

All kinds of ways to get the hot stuff into your homebrew.  Dried
chilis in secondary like dry hops, chilis in the brewpot, fresh chilis
(jalapenos and/or serranos) in the bottle.

Google Groups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling
Newsgroups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling
From: "The Urban Terrorist"
Date: 1998/05/21
Subject: The Urban Terrorist's grade for ESSAY #1.

I used to manage a Subway when I was in high school, I always said,
"Would you like some japs on your sub?" (referring to jalapenos)
nobody got on my ass...

16 May 1999, Virginian-Pilot:
We started off with an order of Stuffed Japs ($4.99), whole jalapenos
split and stuffed with cream cheese and pimentos.

Google Groups: rec.music.phish
Newsgroups: rec.music.phish
From: "Brian Poteat" Date: 1999/10/24
Subject: Re: Phish reference in worst place

When I waited tables we used to have to say "86 the Japs" for no
jalapenos on the taco salad or whatever. I always thought jappy was a
slur toward japanese. Oh well. I guess it's a good thing that I don't
know what a racial slur is. I wanted to have a band named 86 the japs
but I didn't want to offend anybody.

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: "Cuchulain Libby"
Date: 2000/03/14
Subject: Re: smoking jalepenos and poblanos

> What's this about "japs"?  Are you referring to chiles japones?

My lazy typing = jalepenos

> Around here (Northeast TX) japones are medium hot dried red chiles
> which do not resemble jalapenos so much as cayenne or arbol.  Japones
> are considerably less ferocious than those puppies, however.

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: "SonoranDude"
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 06:52:08 -0700
Local: Tues, Oct 19 2004 8:52 am
Subject: Re: Alternative to Pickled Jalapenos (PC explanation)

> >>Brad, they are jalapenos, not japs, and especially not japs with a
> >>capital "J." Try calling them jalas for short. More people might get it
> >>that way and not tend to think you are against the Japanese, where the
> >>term "Japs" comes from.
> >>jim

> > Dude, get a life... I guess you weren't in the produce biz

> All my Japanese frinds find the term offensive and I'll bet your do to
> but are too polite to tell you.
> jim

I wish I could find an old produce order form to show you PC nit
pickers that I meant no disrespect to the Japanese. I treat every
person I meet with respect regardless of their heritage. Sak Tanita
was one of the nicest guys in the Phoenix produce market and if he was
alive today he would laugh about your over sensitivity to a hyphenated
abbreviation we used to describe Jalapeno Peppers.

In the early 80s I sold produce to restaurants and hotels in the
Phoenix area on hand written invoices. December of 1983 I wrote one
half million dollars in sales on these 10 key calculated hand written
records. Japs was the abbreviation we would use on a hand written
invoice, it was never spoken aloud, and it didn't half to be because
every produce salesman, truck driver, and chef could understand
exactly what was written on the invoice. For example 5x6 tom was a
5x6x2 layer tray pack tomato. Cuc was cucumber, broc was broccoli, car
was carrot. Jap or Japs was a jalapeno, I
didn't come up with the abreviation and it had been there years before
I entered the business and as I suspect it is probably still in use

This was never meant to represent the spoken sound of Japs. I have
written thousands of hand written produce orders and over time it
becomes second nature so please forgive me for using this old
abbreviation and move on. Yes it drives me nuts when someone will nit
pic some stupid detail away from the main theme of a post.

The truth is if you haven't tried pan frying your jalapenos than you
missed a delicious firery condiment that is easy to make and people go
crazy for.

Google Groups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
Newsgroups: alt.food.mexican-cooking
From: "tejas"
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 05:52:15 GMT
Local: Sat, Dec 18 2004 12:52 am
Subject: Re: Alternative to Pickled Japs

> > In respect of my Nipponese farming friends many of them grew these "japs"
> > for sale at market in and around the Phoenix area... I appologize for the
> > use of the capital letter, my mistake. Is it cool to call potatoes spuds?
> > Jeesh... it's people like you that ruin it for everyone on usenet.

> My Japanese-American farming friends would have found the term very
> offensive. Just as I do. I agree with Jim's rather polite post.

Then again, "jap chiles" or "chiles japonesas" show up in the dried
chile section. They ain't jalapenos; they are dried serranos. But
Arizona ain't Texas., either.

American Dialect Society listserv (May 26, 2005)
At 3:49 PM -0500 5/20/05, Bill Mullins wrote:
> Jap-slur for Japanese-OED has ca. 1880

In my halcyon days of early adulthood, I was a manager of a Chi-Chis
Mexican Restaurante. in the kitch's of many a cantina the word jap is
slang for jalapeno. An order, say, for a Mexican pizza would come back
to the line and with it, the request to "hold the japs". I once
experienced a very uncomfortable scene in the dining room, when one of
the servers had exclaimed, let's just say NOT sotto voce, that her
entire 6-top (restaurantese for a table with 6 diners) wanted lots of
extra japs all around. Not 10 feet away sat an Asian couple of
arguably non-Chinese persuasion, if you get my drift. The man looked
me in the eye then gracefully looked away with a nod. I'm not so sure
that he understood the context, as he was just doing that saving face
thing. When the plates popped and I escorted them to the table, I was
trying to decide how to show the couple the peppers and gracefully
explain our lingo, but knew that would have been unbelievably awkward
and even insulting to the pair. Thankfully, they had finished and had
left before my server arrived. Whew!

Lexy Rexy
Fishers, IN

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: "I-zheet M'drurz"
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 12:10:30 +0000 (UTC)
Local: Mon, Aug 8 2005 7:10 am
Subject: (Hell's) Kitchenspeak was Re: "HOT DAGOS"

Del Cecchi said:

> They may be called that there but it still is a slur, along with
> wop.  If you wouldn't call Japanese Japs ...

Silly goose!  Everybody knows "Japs" are Jalapenos! (at least in the
restaurant where I work.)

It's a verbal shorthand thing, you either get the concept or you don't...

"japs" = Jalapenos
"Fro" = French Onion Soup
"Del" - Delmonaco
"All Day" = All together. IE: what I needed 5 seconds ago plus what I
just called out
"Man Down!" - Something (object or person) that shouldn't be, is on the floor
"In the weeds" - I'm up to my ears in checks over here, please help or
get the f**k off of my back.

Michael Hoffman
Posted - 11/03/2006 :
Jap burger? Is that some sort of racist description of something?

Mike S.
Posted - 11/03/2006 :  04:24:34
No, it's an abbreviation for jalapeno. Quit living in WW2.

Ecoustics Forum
jeff mannoia
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:28 pm:
im in the restaurant business, and we refer to jalapenos as japs

Rafu Shimpo online
Horse's Mouth
The Luncheon for the Late Kats Nakamura
By George Yoshinaga
Saturday, Oct.13, 2007
Add this to the list of those using the term "Jap."
There's an eatery in Irvine called "On the Border."
One of the items on the menu is called "Firecracker Japs."
The explanation for this use of "Jap " is explained as it being the
shortened word for "Jalapenos."
Okay, the next time I go into a Mexican restaurant, I'll ask the
waiter if they serve "Japs," and see if he understands that it is
short for "Jalapenos."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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