I visit the pharmacy yesterday, and I asked the pharmacist to give me a special kind of oil (use to care the baby skin).

He told me that he don't have it and I can find it in chemist shop.

While I was using google map to find nearest chemist shop, I noticed that these kind of shops look exactly like pharmacies.

So did I misunderstood the Pharmacist? or is there different between them?

  • Thank you, yes I'm sure. I'm living in Dubai. The pharmacist is not a native speaker neither am I. so I think one of us misunderstood these concepts. it seem he meant herbalist. – Shannak Apr 2 '17 at 5:41
  • These are not universal concepts. Since your question is specific to one part of the world it would probably be more appropriate for Travel SE. – None Apr 2 '17 at 7:13

I am a Pharmacist in New Zealand, [Home Pharmacy www.homepharmacy.co.nz. When we first consider the naming of the pharmacy we did consider Chemist [but after some google research - pharmacy is more popular than Chemist]

Chemist is an old term referring to the modern day Pharmacy. Mainly the older generations still use this term. Because back in the old days, pharmacists used to be called chemists - only because the used to make some medicines from scratch using chemistry. The term Chemist is mainly used in UK based and commonwealth countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc.

When you went to the first shop to ask for the oil for your baby, you probably went to a Health Food shop that only sells natural supplements and food products.

So Chemist = Pharmacist / Pharmacy (but Chemist [solely deal with chemistry] as a profession is not the same as a pharmacist [deal with medicines]).


"chemist" is the term they use in Great Britain sometimes, as far as I know (I think "dragstore" is more common there nowadays). "pharmacy" is primarily used in North America.

  • Drugstore is very rarely used in the UK, chemist or pharmacy are quite common, for example one of our major chains is lloydspharmacy.com – Sarriesfan May 16 '18 at 11:54
  • Thank you for the clarification on this issue. That was one thing I was not completely sure of. – Michael Rybkin May 16 '18 at 12:01

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