Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PROFESSION, n. Sc. usages:

1. As in Eng. Deriv. professional, adj. in n.comb. Professional Examination, one of a series of four examinations, respectively the First, Second, and Third Professional Examinations and the Final Examination, taken by Scottish medical students studying for the degree of M.B., Ch.B., see quots. Also in reduced form First (Second, Third) Professional(s), id. Sc. 1858  Univ. Scot. Act and Ordinances (Clapperton 1916) 9:
No candidate shall be admitted to a professional examination, who has not passed a satisfactory examination on at least two of the following subjects: Greek, French, etc.
Sc. 1908  Sc. Med. & Surg. Jnl. XXII. 528:
Those who have failed in one or more of the subjects of the Second Professional.
Sc. 1910  J. Kerr Sc. Education 348:
The course of medical study was extended from four to five years. . . . It was provided that there must be four professional examinations: — the first in botany, zoology, physics, and chemistry; the second in anatomy, physiology, and materia medica; the third in pathology, medical jurisprudence, and public health; and the fourth in the various departments of medicine, surgery, and midwifery.
Sc. 1966  Edinburgh Univ. Calendar 200:
The First Professional Examination is taken at the end of the first year of the curriculum, and relates to the following courses of instruction: — Chemistry, Physics, Biology. The Second Professional Examination is taken at the end of the second year of the curriculum and relates to the following courses of instruction: — Anatomy, General Biochemistry. . . . The Final Professional Examination is taken in three parts.

2. A religious system or sect. Now rare or obs. in Eng. Hence professionist, n., one who makes a demonstrative profession of religious faith, with implications of insincerity. Cf. Professor, n., 1. Sc. a.1714  Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 502:
The King, perswadit by many Popish Lords, wes to bring back the Roman profession.
Rnf. 1862  A. McGilvray Poems 71:
Belong, at least, to some profession, And try to get among the session.
Ayr. 1889  H. Johnston Glenbuckie vi.:
I'm nane o' your professionists that find oot at the hinner end their life has been a' a lee, and are feart to face the truth.
Sc. 1904  R. Small Hist. U.P. Congr. I. 72:
About the close of his Arts course, he “left his profession”, and joined the Relief.

3. An examination formerly taken at the end of each academic year by students in the Scottish Universities, in which they were examined on specific books or subjects which they professed or made profession in. Obs. or hist. Sc. 1825  Jam.:
Profession. The name given to an annual examination in some of our universities in regard to the progress made by students during the year preceding. The name has originated from the circumstance of the student having a right to tell what books or branches he is willing to be examined on. He professes Virgil, Horace, etc., i.e., he undertakes to explain them.
Sc. 1927  D. Murray Old Coll. Gsw. 80:
An intrant was not examined prior to admission to the Humanity class, but he could not move on to the Greek class until he had submitted himself to an examination, or as it was termed made “a Profession” in Latin and had passed satisfactorily.

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"Profession n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2019 <>



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