Arrows PreviousNext

Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally

The entries in several Japanese-English dictionaries for リップクリーム:
(a) lip cream; *(a) lip balm; ‖(a) lip salve. (Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, 5th edition. The asterisk indicates an American form and the two vertical lines a British form.)

(a) lip balm [salve] (Favorite Japanese-English Dictionary)

lip chap [balm] (Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, 3rd edition)
However, the most common word in American English, at least, for hard リップクリーム that comes in a tube is none of the translations given above. Instead, it is "chapstick," a word that appears in no English-English dictionaries I checked, presumably because of its trademark status (as "ChapStick").

For reference, here's the definition in 広辞苑:
リップ‐クリーム【lip cream】
Some Google hit counts:
"put some lip cream on"  0
"put lip cream on"  1
"put some lip balm on"  27
"put lip balm on"  70
"put some lip salve on"  0
"put lip salve on"  5
"put some lip chap on"  1
"put lip chap on"  1
"put some chapstick on"  50
"put some chap stick on"  9
"put chapstick on"  96
"put chap stick on"  38
(December 2, 2003)