Etymological dictionary for Chinese words?

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Fumiko Take

Senior Member
I'm looking for a Chinese etymologcial dictionary that deals with words, not with just plain characters. For example, I'd like to know the origin of the word "印度", not of the two characters "印" and "度". Any suggestions? So far I've got no luck with Google, the only hits are about characters only.
  • Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    There are specialized dictionaries in print for foreign words (外來語), but they're in Chinese and are not put on-line.

    If you have some particular words in mind, you may try Google Books to find the relevant scholarly discussions, but you need to know what words to search. For example, for 印度, if you search with the keywords "Sindhu" and "Chinese", you will be led to a detailed article ("Ancient Chinese Names of India") by Prabodh Chandra Bagchi, a well-known Indian Sinologist.

    Moderator's Note: You can open a thread for each of those words that puzzle you. I'm now closing this one, which is too general for the purpose of our forum.
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