Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4516
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:00 pm

• apprentice •

Pronunciation: ê-prent-is • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Someone under legal contract to work for someone else (a master) for a specified period of time in exchange for instruction in the master's trade. 2. A beginner at a trade, a novice, a tyro, a learner.

Notes: Today's Good Word is seldom used in the US because the practice of learning a trade is now done by non-legally binding internships. The use of apprenticeships (the noun) is still alive and well in Europe, though. The only remnant of the concept left in US English is phrases like "master mechanic", "master chef", "master plumber", which have now taken on different meanings.

In Play: As already mentioned, the literal sense of today's Good Word is no longer used in the US: "Marjorie, you're dancing like an apprentice, not the mature professional I know you are." Today's word can be useful around the house, too: "Why should I mow the lawn, Dad? You're the pro; I'm just an apprentice."

Word History: Apprentice reached English via Old French aprentis "someone learning" and, used as an adjective, "unskilled, inexperienced". (The Modern French apprenti resulted from mistaking the older form for a plural.) This noun was derived from the ancestor of Modern French apprendre "to learn; to teach", inherited from Latin apprehendere "to grasp, seize", made up of ad (on)to + prehendere "grasp". This Latin word has several cousins that show up in English, too, including prehensile, comprehend, and reprehend. The root behind prehendere, Proto-Indo-European ghend, had a Fickle N which does not show up in get, the form of ghend which reached English directly and was not borrowed from Latin. (Susanne Russell is no apprentice, but a master of words as her suggestion of today's Good Word shows.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3186
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: Apprentice

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:07 pm

A coadjutor, as it were!
I also noted in the etymology a French term meaning to learn, to teach. Does that mean they who say, "the teacher learned me to spell" are correct after all?

Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:32 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: Apprentice

Postby cjohngraham » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:27 am

I'm sure you get plenty of people quibbling about the daily word, but the term "apprentice" is still used to indicate a beginning level of skill for a craftperson such as an electrician, pipefitter, or machinist. The union trades have a formal qualification process for advancing through the apprentice, journeyman, and master levels.

Hey, there's a good word, also a bit rare: journeyman.

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3943
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Apprentice

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:39 am

I have a friend who is an apprentice plumber, and another
called a 'master plumber'. Glad you brought up
journeyman, I was going to mention it as well.

By the way, WELCOME, cjohngraham.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: Apprentice

Postby MTC » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:59 pm

Perhaps the most famous apprentice in recent memory is Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice scene from Disney's "Fantasia." Disney was inspired by Goethe's poem quoted in part below. The reason for apprenticeships becomes apparent when the brooms go wet and wild:

And they're running! Wet and wetter
get the stairs, the rooms, the hall!
What a deluge! What a flood!
Lord and master, hear my call!
Ah, here comes the master
I have need of Thee!
from the spirits that I called
“Back now, broom,
into the closet!
Be thou as thou
wert before!
Until I, the real master
call thee forth to serve once more!”

Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: Apprentice

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:57 pm

cjohngraham: Thanks for the great post. Welcome and post often.

An intern is something like an apprentice. Back in the dark ages, I was a chemical engineering intern. The great thing about internship is that you get to practice in all aspects of your major field. Not all engineers get to have an internship. Mine taught me that I didn't want to be a chemical engineer.

Doctors have internships and theology students have internships. We always have one or two interns bumbling around our church.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3943
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Apprentice

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:56 am

"Bumbling" around your church? I love it, great mental image.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests