The first time I heard my then boyfriend say a word that sounded like “shaps” I had no idea what he was saying. This was about 16 years ago and also my intro to cowboy culture.
I asked for a definition of “shaps” only to learn they were protective coverings for a cowboy’s legs.
I asked, “You mean Chaps, c. h. a. p. s?” Remember, I grew up in the city and the only Chaps I knew were by Ralph Lauren.
He said, “No, they’re chaps, pronounced ‘shaps’.”
“Then, what’s this,” I asked, as I pulled out a tube of lip moisturizer with the words ChapStick on it. “It’s not shap stick, is it?”
That’s when I got that sweet cowboy smile and a lesson on the derivation of Chaps from the word Chaparejos.
To this day, I call lip moisturizer shap stick.