Chapstick

Chapstick is a closed compound word. We will examine the meaning of the word chapstick, its etymology, and some examples of its use in a sentence or two.

Chapstick is a balm for the lips packaged in a cylindrical tube. Chapstick is used for dry or irritated lips resulting from cold weather, sun exposure, illness, or other causes. The generic word, chapstick, was derived from a trademarked lip balm brand that was first marketed in 1880, ChapStick. ChapStick was invented by Charles Browne Fleet, a pharmacist who lived in Lynchburg, Virginia. In the 1910s, John Morton bought the rights to the product and his wife, Mrs. Morton, invented a push-up tube to apply the product. Today, when referring to the specific brand, use the capitalized version: ChapStick. If one is simply referring to any lip balm, use the lowercase version, chapstick. The term has become so ubiquitous, the lowercase version, chapstick, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2021.

Examples

“Dad just asked for chapstick and mom gave him lipstick.” (People)

“It’s used so their lips don’t dry out, but as far as chapstick goes, I’ve never put it on a body, but if someone wanted me to, I probably would.” (Daily Express)

Friends, family, coaches, a sports psychologist, and a number of professional sponsors, including ChapStick—Stockwell is a brand ambassador as an extension of the brand’s support for military and first responders—have helped reassure the Chicago native to have faith, especially when faced with difficult circumstances, she says. (Self Magazine)

You can’t go wrong with this tried-and-true classic: ChapStick’s SPF 15 lip balm leaves your skin soft, moisturized, and totally protected from the sun. (Cosmopolitan Magazine)

Check out some others we covered: