Is there a native, non-loanword for "pen" (the writing instrument)? Or is there only 「ペン」?

There is one for "pencil" (鉛筆), one for "ruler" (定規), one for "paper" (紙) and even though the one for "eraser", 消しゴム, is half loanword due to the ゴム, at least there is an alternative to the full loanword イレーザー. It would be weird if there is no native word for "pen".

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There"s one for a fountain pen: 万年筆 (まんねんひつ), but pens haven"t been around that long, so everything else seems to be ペン. Mr. Biro only started making his ballpoints in the 1940"s.

Even one of the types of pencil has become a pen - シャーペン (it"s a shortening of シャープペンシル).


I"m Japan,"ペン" ordinarily means something like a ballpoint pen (ボールペン),a mechanical pencil (シャーペン),a highlighter pen (蛍光ペン),a quill pen (羽根ペン), a nib/dip pen (つけペン), etc..

It doesn"t meanpencil (鉛筆) orbrush (筆, 毛筆).

There weren"t any words which means "pen" in because the used brushes for a long made a new word for pen when it had been introduced.

I think there isn"t non-loanword for "pen" in you really want to use one, I would suggest using "筆".


Well the last kanji for 鉛筆 is 筆 (ふで), which is writing brush. The modern pen has come a ways from a writing brush.

Maybe fountain pens are in between the two, that would be 万年筆 (まんねんひつ).


Fountain pens were not introduced to Japan until the 19th century but I can find no dates yet for quill pens or nib pens / dip pens.

However a quill pen is called a 羽根ペン and a nib/dip pen is called a つけペン so both currently contain ペン.

Perhaps a Chinese word for pen might be older and may have formerly been used in

I would"t rule out the possibility that the word for brush also covered pens at one time. Not all pens are modern pens and the English word pen is not a modern word but comes from a Latin word for feather. There are also modern brush pens and some expensive old brushes with a form factor that looks rather like a pen.

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