MEANING: noun: A terse, witty, instructive saying.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin apothegma/apophthegma, from Greek apophthegma (apothegm), from apophthengesthai (to speak plainly), from apo- (off, away) + phthengesthai (to speak). Earliest documented use: 1570.

NOTES: You might expect an apothecary to dispense nuggets of wisdom but you’d be disappointed: that word is from Greek apotheka (storehouse). Back then an apothecary was a storeowner who sold all kinds of stuff: spices, candy, preserves, even pills and potions. According to the OED, “in 1617 the Apothecaries’ Company of London was separated from the Grocers’.” If you walk into a pharmacy these days, drugs are only a small part of the store... [W]e are back to the old days.

A POT HEM - the bottom edge of the sewn cover for a cooking utensil

A.P.O THE GYM - address for mail sent to the Army exercise facility

A POSH, E.G. M. - flamboyant and rich head of M.I.6 (the British foreign intelligence service), for example