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What is the proper adjectival form, if any, of apothecary?

My best guess is 'apothecal', although my resources have not found a definitive answer one way or the other.

For example:

Jordan opened the package he had brought from the apothecary. It had a clear apothecal smell.

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  • How about apotithenary? Apothecary comes from the Greek word for 'storehouse', which is made up of apo- 'away', plus tithenai 'to put'. There appear to have been some syllables haplogized away in apothecary, but that need not have happened to an adjective. In any event, apotithenary can't possibly means anything else. Dec 29, 2013 at 6:11
  • Also @JohnLawler Although the etymology relates to a storehouse, the current usage of the term is to a person or his "office" (i.e., practice/ vocation) in pharmacy. As such, its adjectival use with smell is bound to have hilarious outcomes.
    – Kris
    Dec 29, 2013 at 7:57
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    @John, no haplology involved—it's just based on the unreduplicated root, rather than the reduplicated present stem. (Not sure exactly what the -k- suffix is, but it appears to be structurally identical to ‘theme’, with its more familiar *-men- suffix.) Dec 29, 2013 at 13:35

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Although the etymology of apothecary relates to a 'storehouse,' the current usage of the term is with reference to a person or his "office" (i.e., practice/ vocation) in pharmacy.

As such, its adjectival use with smell is bound to have hilarious outcomes.

However, should one insist on using such an expression, merely making an adjectival 'use' of the noun itself should be acceptable.

It had a clear apothecary smell.

Luckily, the word already sounds like an adjective, too.


apothecarial

adj. Characteristic of an apothecary

Walton:

Colard, a barber-surgeon, illustrated the apothecarial duties that a surgeon might perform when he wrote, I bequethe to John my sone all my instruments of ...

Roberts:

Inside, you'll sense a curious apothecarial smell, traced to the shelves lined with old pots and jars (labeled in Latin).

'Mama Earth' on Infobarrel:

Gin is derived predominantly from juniper berries, and mixed with herbs and spices to create its strange apothecarial smell.

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    Odd fixation on the "person" component. you could say the same thing about "doctoral", which while cumbersome has a similar meaning. ("lawyerly smell", too, now that I think about it...)
    – DougM
    Dec 29, 2013 at 20:56
  • @DougM Agree with the rest of the comment, though the 'person' aspect is no fixation at all. The brick-and-mortar sense of storehouse is now archaic.
    – Kris
    Dec 30, 2013 at 4:46

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