`avocation’ and `vocation’

Some people refer to their job as their `vocation’. What they mean by this is that they have found the job that they are particularly suited for. They believe it is their calling, and they take it up because they wish to help other people.

*I am told that his vocation is banking.

An `avocation’ is a hobby. It is an activity that you enjoy doing, but it’s not the thing that puts bread on the table. The word is considered formal.

*Shailaja told me that her avocation is painting. *You’d better decide whether you want to make golf your vocation or avocation.

Sourced from The Hindu ‘Know Your English’ Series, October 24, 2005.

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