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Is there a good on-line resource - free or not free - to look up the etymology of German words?

Something like Duden's "Das Herkunftswörterbuch"?

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first duplicate :) –  Phira May 24 '11 at 19:59
    
@thei really? Where is the original? –  Pekka 웃 May 24 '11 at 19:59
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@thei, you're question (german.stackexchange.com/q/2/34) is more about German-English dictionaries, at least the way I get it. Here it's rather about monolingual specialized dictionaries. –  Karol Piczak May 24 '11 at 20:04
    
I intended to collect both, but it is probably better to separate it. –  Phira May 24 '11 at 21:20
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6 Answers

The one that I know of is DWDS:

It has some data from the "Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen (nach Pfeifer)", it's usefulness will depend on the actual term you're looking for.

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Duden offers some limited etymology information when you search for a word. For example:

Märchen

Herkunft: spätmittelhochdeutsch (mitteldeutsch) merechyn, Verkleinerungsform von mittelhochdeutsch mære, Mär

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The largest etymological resource for the German language is the DWB, Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm, or just Grimm for short. It is, however, not suited for learners of the language, and is sometimes even hard to understand for natives. If you're just looking for a quick explanation of the origin of a word, it's also not the best one.

It's an interesting read though if you're interested in the evolution of the language since the 16th century.

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The German Wiktionary often lists the etymology of words under the „Herkunft“ header. Note that that is usually quite concise.

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You might give wiktionary a try. It's a community driven dictionary, which also discloses the etymology of the words.

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