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Veterinary profession
A vet not by any other name
  1. Bruce Vivash Jones
  1. Ermin Way House, 34-36 Dollar Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2AN
  1. e-mail: vivashbvj123{at}

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WHILE in his letter Chris Tansley (VR, June 1, 2013, vol 172, p 586) objects to being called a veterinarian, he should know (or maybe he does) that the appellation is in fact the original designation for our vocation. While the word ‘veterinary’ can be traced back to Roman times (Jones 2011), the exact date of the entry of ‘veterinarian’ into the English language is unclear. Its first recorded mention is in 1646, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica, a book by Thomas Browne, in which he refers to ‘good veterinarians’. Samuel Johnson in his great dictionary, published in 1755, uses this quotation to illustrate his entry of the word ‘veterinarian’ as ‘one skilled in the …

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