Apothecary

dictionary with letter A

Apothecary: (n.–archaic) a person who prepared and sold medicines.

I was just thinking about these three names–apothecary, drugstore and pharmacy. Don’t ever tell me that words don’t have significance.

For if someone told me they were “going to the apothecary,” I would conjure visions of someone sitting around mixing chemicals, trying to turn lead into gold.

Unfortunately, in my twisted mind, if you told me you were heading for the drugstore, I would see some guy with slick-backed hair, two day’s growth of beard, pulling little plastic packets out of his coat to sell on the street corner.

I think that’s why we ended up with “pharmacy,” although there are no animals, barnyards or crops involved. (Please forgive that.)

Do words get tired, or do we get tired of words? Because we’re certainly justified by what words we use, and also condemned.

For the person who says he is heading to the apothecary immediately casts himself in the role of the ancient of days.

And drugstore does reek a bit of being white trash. (Not that there’s anything wrong with white trash. As far as I’m concerned, since I’m a forward-thinking human being, you can be whatever color of trash you desire.)

But somewhere along the line, the apothecary had to become the pharmacy, and someday the pharmacy will be much too stuffy and we’ll have to come up with another name for it.

But I seriously doubt if we’ll ever go back to apothecary … unless men wearing tights and pointy shoes return to fashion. 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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