Are the 3 words all synonyms or do they refer to specific types of zippers, like a zipper on pants or jacket versus a zipper on a suitcase?

  • 1
    At least in the (high) fashion industry, we would generally avoid using チャック like the plague because it sounds not only outdated but it also reminds one too directly of the pants fly.
    – user4032
    Nov 11, 2021 at 23:36
  • 1
    I learned チャック first (probably from my parents) but I use ファスナー almost everywhere (except in idioms) now because I feel it's the safest. YMMV.
    – naruto
    Nov 11, 2021 at 23:46
  • When I go to the Wikipedia page for ズボン, ファスナー shows up but neither チャック or ジッパー show up. Nov 17, 2021 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


Basically they are synonymous (souces: 1, 2).

According to the web, チャック derived from [巾着]{きんちゃく} in 1927. Possibly because of this, in the idiomatic expression '口にチャック' = 'to be quiet', the other two cannot be used.

Possibly for the same reason, チャック seems to fit better in some cases than the others: The zipper of trousers is usually called チャック; When a bag has the zipper, チャックになってる sounds more common (to me).

  • I've read numerous sources that say チャック is outdated and young people almost always use ファスナー, do you agree with that? e.g. 10mtv.jp/pc/column/article.php?column_article_id=982
    – rjh
    Nov 16, 2021 at 17:54
  • @rjh That page says even ズボン and ジーパン are dead words, but that's true only in a part of Japan. According to this page, more than 40% adults believe チャック is still an ordinary word.
    – naruto
    Nov 17, 2021 at 1:03
  • @rjh I'm not sure about the usage by younger generations, but I understand it sounds kind of dated - not that outdated; rather it has 'belonging to a former genration (more specifically 昭和)' sound. Also it sounds kind of colloquial, and personally I would use ファスナー when I need to speak in polite register.
    – sundowner
    Nov 17, 2021 at 2:38

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