The term “vocation” comes from the Latin word “vocatio,” which means “a calling” or “a summons.” This is derived from the Latin root “vocare,” meaning “to call.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*wekw-” means “to speak” or “to call.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “vocare” developed, meaning “to call.” The noun “vocatio” is derived from “vocare,” meaning “a calling” or “a summons.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “vocatio” evolved into Old French “vocacion,” meaning “a calling” or “a summons.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “vocacion” was adopted into Middle English as “vocacioun,” meaning “a calling” or “a summons.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “vocation” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation” or “a calling.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “vocation” has remained relatively stable, transitioning from Old French “vocacion” to Modern English “vocation.”

Usage Examples

  • “She feels a strong vocation to become a teacher.”
  • “Another example of ‘vocation’ in a sentence is ‘He pursued his vocation as a doctor with great passion and dedication.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “vocation” was significantly influenced by its use in religious contexts to describe a calling to serve in a particular capacity, such as in the priesthood or other religious vocations. Over time, its meaning expanded to include a strong inclination toward any career or occupation.

The word “vocation” reflects the importance of a sense of calling or purpose in one’s work, emphasizing the role of personal passion, dedication, and suitability in choosing and pursuing a career.