1. A racial epithet referring to people of Japanese descent. Of course, it derives from a truncation of the word Japan. It originated in the late 19th century and was frequently used without racist intent. Its heyday as a racial slur was the 1940s, with xenophobia running high during World War II. The ease the three letter word fit into newspaper headlines helped spur its popularity. With the civil rights movement of the 1960s came increased sensitivity towards all racial groups, and the word fell out of public favor. When that idiot Spiro Agnew referred to a Baltimore reporter as a "fat Jap" in 1968, he could still claim ignorance that the word was considered offensive, but now the offensiveness of the term is pretty much universally established. I believe that the US government now uses "Jpn." as the standard abbreviation for Japan.

2. Acronym standing for "Jewish American Princess" (or, more rarely, "Jewish American Prince"), another racial epithet, one which became popular in the 1970s. It generally refers to a specific stereotypical image, that of a rich, spoiled, stuck-up, straight-laced Jewish woman. See Frank Zappa’s "Jewish Princess".

Source: Hugh Rawson, Wicked Words, 1989.

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