Recipe vs. Prescription

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WRONG: The doctor gave me a recipe for my illness.
RIGHT: The doctor gave me a prescription for my illness.

The Czech word ‘recept’ leads to lots of confusion in English. Here’s how it breaks down – ‘recipe’ in English is used with cooking. We use a recipe when we cook a meal and want exact instructions about what to use. For example, “I always use a recipe when I cook something new.”

If you say, “The doctor gave me a recipe for my illness”, it sounds like he gave you instructions how to cook some drugs! No, the word we use for what the doctor gives you is prescription, e.g. “The doctor wrote me a prescription for my throat infection.”

An added confusion in English is the word ‘receipt’ in English [pronounced ‘receit’] which is the piece of paper you get after you have paid for something in a shop or restaurant. So, you might say: “I always keep my receipts in case I need to return something to the shop.”

So, recipe = food, receipt = payment and prescription = drugs!