While some folks agreed with me, several dissenters pointed out that experience in combat is what separates a Fighter from a Normal Man. It makes sense on a certain level, especially when you consider the game's wargaming roots--everybody in the game was engaged in warfare so something had to set the Fighter apart.
But let's have a look at the n00b status of the other adventuring classes to see how they rate:
First Level Titles by Class:
|Young man of fashion|
Druid: Aspirant--Keep reaching for the stars, little buddy.
Ranger: Runner--Either a messenger or a member of the cross country team.
Paladin: Gallant--Webster says: A young man of fashion; a lady's man. Kind of odd, eh?
Magic User & Illusionist: Prestidigitator--A fancy name for a birthday party magician.
Thief: Rogue (Apprentice)--While rogue is more of a stance than an occupation, the parenthetical title provides everything we need to know.
Assassin: Bravo (Apprentice)--I did a thing on Bravo a couple of years ago; otherwise as thief above.
Bard: Probationer--Under the Olde Rules, you had to first rise to 5th-8th level in fighter, start over as a thief and rise to at least 5th-9th level in that field before you could finally call yourself... a probationer. Don't screw up now or you're finished.
Monk: Novice--Webster offers a few more synonyms: abecedarian, apprentice, babe, colt, cub, fledgling, freshman, greenhorn, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, beginner, novitiate, punk, recruit, rook, rookie, tenderfoot, tyro, virgin.
As you can see, all the other AD&D character classes--with the possible exception of Paladins--had level titles that bespoke their status as tyros in the field, to which the respectful term "Veteran" stands in stark contrast.