Practice vs. Practish

A great former student of mine, Kurt Zimmerman, once said something amazing. He said, “There’s a big difference in the way people practice. Some people practice and some people practish.”

Just think about the staggering simplicity of this phrase: Practice vs. Practish.

“Ish” is part of our culture now, even part of our language. If you look up “ish” on, this is what you’ll see:


1. A suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, with the sense of “belonging to” (British, Danish, English, Spanish); “after the manner of,” “having the characteristics of,” “like” (babyish, girlish, mulish); “addicted to,” “inclined or tending to” (bookish, freakish); “near or about” (fiftyish, sevenish).

2. A suffix used to form adjectives from other adjectives, with the sense of “somewhat,” “rather” (oldish, reddish, sweetish).


If you go to, you’ll find something a bit different:

Kind of/sort of, usually added onto the end of a word or phrase

Well, did it work?

How was the opera? 
It was good. Ish. 

Are you hungry? 


There’s a million examples I could list illustrating the great actions that are practice vs. those sloppy ways that are practish, but that would be tedious and pointless. It’s just such an obvious, great phrase: Practice vs. Practish. Next time your group isn’t doing so hot, lay “Practice vs. Practish” on them and blow their minds. How great to have such a concise key word to use that will let everyone in the room know that they should up their game…

“Hey! What’s up with this practish?”

“Did you guys practice this over the weekend, or just practish?”

Thanks, Kurt.





Tags:  ,

One comment to Practice vs. Practish

  • Bethany  says:

    Hi!! Its Bethany Baldwin from Age V.
    lol I like this article because I tend to “practish” and not practice. This helps me think did I really practice or do I just want to get it over with and move on? I will now try to practice instead of practish.
    Thank you for writing these articles!!! 🙂

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>