The etymological map of pharmacy or drug store in different languages
The name of the store where we can buy medicines

The English term pharmacy traces its roots to the Ancient Greek φαρμακεία (pharmakeía), which encompasses the notion of preparing, compounding, and dispensing drugs, in Greek φάρμακον (phármakon). In Romance languages such as The Spanish “farmacia” and the French “pharmacie” derive from the Latin word “pharmacia,” which was inherited from the Greek term too.

In various languages, a distinct Ancient Greek is employed, it is the term ἀποθήκη (apothḗkē), signifying a storage place or depot. Historically, English also had “apothecary.” Nowadays, we encounter terms like boutique (from French small shop) and bodega (from Spanish, winery) in English, both deriving from the same Greek root despite differing meanings. This root is commonly found in many Germanic and Slavic languages, such as German “apotheke” or Russian “аптека” (apteka). However, not all Slavic languages adopt it; some combine “drug” with “shop or store,” as seen in Czech “lékárna,” akin to the American English “drugstore.” This pattern extends to Hungarian “gyógyszertár” and Icelandic.

A third important etymological root is the Persian داروخانه (dārūkhāneh), which has been the source for the term in several Turkic languages, as Turkish “eczane” and Kazakh “дәріхана” (därihana).

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