This is a followup to my previous question, Can 受付 be used like a verb meaning “to check in” at a hotel etc?

I've just been informed by a person who provided the translation of "check in" that 退社 would be the pure Japanese word for "to check out".

I can only find it listed as meaning "to leave the office at the end of the day" or "to resign from a job".

Those seem semantically pretty close but do people actually use this, or did they formerly use this for checking out of a hotel, ryokan, etc?


The correct term to use for 'check out' is チェックアウト. 退社 is not used for that. The kanji 社 indicates that the 'leaving' is directly related to work or the workplace, not a hotel/ryokan etc.

None of the standard dictionaries list the meaning relating to hotels/ryokan which you suggest. See here for examples of the word being used from the year 1899, with the meaning corresponding to the current dictionary definitions.

  • Not even in the past before there were so many English loanwords? I was given this word in a YouTube comment thread about "pure Japanese". – hippietrail Jun 28 '20 at 14:05
  • Of course, there are thousands of words imported from other languages, but why is it that you believe 退社 has anything to do with hotels? You seem to be asking whether the specific word 退社 has ever been used (Middle Japanese and before). But there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that. I added a link to my answer with old examples. – kandyman Jun 28 '20 at 14:54
  • I'm just doing my best to either confirm or disprove what another person told me about the word on the other forum I liked to. That person was also quite insistent so I want to be sure I don't rush blindly to believe either answer to quickly without making sure I've asked thoroughly. Thanks for your patience. – hippietrail Jun 28 '20 at 15:26
  • @hippietrail so is there some implication that even if 退社 doesn't mean "checkout" it's still an example of "Pure Japanese"? I'm not sure what Pure Japanese would be (cannot watch the video now) but it seems odd to include something that is, at the very least, dependent on elements borrowed from Chinese. – Leebo Jun 28 '20 at 22:12
  • 2
    退社 is definitely for "leaving office" or "resign". If I put a pure Japanese word for "check out", I could use "退館". 館 represents a big building and it's also used for hotels and ryokan. So it's not common but it can be made understood as "check out". – Mitsutoshi Watanabe Jun 29 '20 at 11:56

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