Dictionary that shows origin of loanwords?

Sometimes when learning new vocabulary I found words that are written in katakana. As far as I know these words are loanwords. Hope this is correct. For better understanding I want to know where the vocabulary is coming from but I don’t know where to look.
I can’t read all-Japanese resources so I’m hoping to find something in English.
Latest example is アヒル which I found in my textbook. Where does it come from?
Hope you can help :slight_smile:

Edit: I learned, that katakana is used for more things than loanwords.

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I’ve found wiktionary to be pretty good for this: アヒル - Wiktionary. It seems that this is just 家鴨.


Monolingual dictionaries usually have the origin of the word in the header, so even with just basic Japanese you should be able to figure out where it’s from.
E.g. the entry for アルバイト(バイト) in goo showing it’s fromドイツ (Germany) Arbeit:


If it’s not in a JJ dictionary, I have some luck searching along with 由来(ゆらい) or 語源(ごげん). From here, you should easily find such websites.


Don’t get hung up on katakana words being loanwords. They often are, but katakana is also used for animal and plant names, for slang or just for emphasis.


Thank you, you are right. It is. I thought that it has to be a loanword but I learned that some other things are written in katakana by @Taniotoshi
Tank you :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply, but Arbeit cant be related to アヒル. German is my first language and it doesn’t make sense.
The German word for アヒル is “Gans” which is close to goose.

Wikipedia has a n interesting page as well : List of gairaigo and wasei-eigo terms - Wikipedia .


They were just giving you an example of what it looks like in the dictionary when a word is actually borrowed from another language. They weren’t suggesting 家鴨 comes from Arbeit.


Ok, I see. Sorry. That’s the problem with monolingual dictionaries. I can’t read them yet.

Wow, this is great! Now I finally know where ズボン is coming from! This was the first katakana word I ever learned in my textbook and I couldn’t figure out the origin. Thank you!

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