Although the sign at the back of the shop in the old town square said apothecary, most people called the man behind the counter by his modern title, "pharmacist," instead.
This five-syllable word, apothecary, which entered English in the 14th century, derives from the Latin apothēca, "storehouse." It became a title for the person who was skilled in preparing medicines. "Pharmacist" is a more common synonym for apothecary. Some contemporary companies and drugstore owners use the old-fashioned charm of the term apothecary to label products they sell.