What are "jubee lips"?
June 13, 2018 7:37 AM   Subscribe

From this article, "But I had already noticed those signature serious eyebrows, the jubee lips, the rounded jaw." Is this New Zealand slang?
posted by dilaudid to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
I suspected a shortening of "jujube," as in the candy, and with a little googling, that appears to be it. From a paper titled "The Consumer Testing of Food Package Design": "Comments strongly indicated that the consumers actually associated the term ‘Jubee’ with the term ‘jube’, which in New Zealand is a brightly coloured highly artificial fruit jelly sweet..."

Here are some jube candies from a New Zealand food site.
posted by jocelmeow at 9:31 AM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

More typically spelled "jubey", it means thick lips.

It seems to be New Zealand slang. See how it is used here, for example (fourth paragraph).
posted by beagle at 9:32 AM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm told by a native Kiwi that this is at least slightly racist.
posted by falsedmitri at 9:51 AM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

(NZer here). You mostly hear it applied to Polynesians, and when I was a kid in a school that was more than 25% Māori roll, mostly negatively. It gives me pause, although clearly someone describing their own baby doesn't mean it that way. I would never use this phrase.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:50 PM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Another NZer saying that yeah, this is slang with racist roots. I'm white, and would never say it. I've heard Māori or Pacifika people saying it in a joking way amongst friends.
posted by BeeJiddy at 6:41 PM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was called jubey lips by bullies for the first few years of high school in NZ . can confirm it means thick lips. And jujube was a variant some kids used. I also associated it at the time with Jube lollies, because they are thick, or something. But in hindsight, I'm sure it had racist origins instead.
posted by lollusc at 12:13 AM on June 14, 2018

I was at primary school in the 1970s, and at that point I heard it as Juju lips.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:59 AM on June 14, 2018

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