We've all heard the lame jokes about doctors and lawyers practicing their profession. "After all these years you're still practicing?" or "You think you'd know what you're doing by now with all that practice."

Quite the dad jokes if you ask me.

However, I must admit I laughed out loud while watching the hit sitcom Will and Grace. The not so smart character of Jack told his best friend Will he couldn't believe he still had to practice law and didn't get it yet. Such a Jack thing to say, which is also what got me wondering why doctors and lawyers have practices and practice medicine or law.

hush naidoo jade photography
hush naidoo jade photography

According to the Fresno Bee, using the word "practice" when referring to what doctors and lawyers do comes from Latin. In this case the Latin word “practicare” meant to carry on a profession way back during the medieval times.

Before Latin was Greek which means, according to the Attorney at Work website, the it all originally derived from the Greek word "prasso" which means the "practical application of specialized knowledge, to achieve, bring about, effect or accomplish."

Practice was first used to refer to a profession in Old French and Latin around 1400. The word usually referred to medicine, but also law, alchemy and magic. Rather than referring to an amateur, since the mid-sixteenth century to call someone “practiced” has meant they are an expert.

According to the Stack Exchange it wasn't for another 100 years that the word expanded to mean repeating something to improve ourselves, etc. however these two centuries-old professions stuck with their roots.

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