Topic. I've heard/seen somewhere that 被【かぶ】る was "gairaigo-fied" (?) from the English word "cover" (similar to ダブる or デモる), and then presumably given ateji from 被【おお】う since the meanings overlap so much. I searched several dictionaries for some sort of verification but have found nothing so far. Is there any truth to this?

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    “Is there any truth to this?” No. Someone with the access to 日本国語大辞典 can probably show a quote from around the year 1200 (which I can only guess from the excerpt at Yahoo!辞書). Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


As Tsuyoshi says, there is no truth to it. The earliest reference given in the [日]{に}[本]{ほん}[国]{こく}[語]{ご}[大]{だい}[辞]{じ}[典]{てん} is from the mid-13th century [観]{かん}[智]{じ}[院]{いん}[本]{ぼん} edition of the [類]{るい}[聚]{じゅ}[名]{みょう}[義]{ぎ}[抄]{しょう}:

盖 オホフ カフル

Even English barely had the word cover at that point.

Also, according to the same dictionary, かぶる is derived from かがふる, which is even older--It's in the Man'yōshū (9C):

[可]{か}[之]{し}[古]{こ}[伎]{き}[夜]{や} / [美]{み}[許]{こ}[等]{と} [加]{か}[我]{が}[布]{ふ}[理]{り} / ...

  • @Matt: Can you provide furigana for 観智院本名義抄, and maybe say what it is? I can't determine the correct reading just be looking at it. Nor does it come up right away in a Google search.
    – Questioner
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 1:43
  • @DaveMG There you go.
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 1:48

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