Nineteenth-century etchers progressively redefined the identity of their art through language. Language was employed as a means of emphasizing intellectual over manual input by the etcher, and played an important role in the transformation of the identity of etching from an amateur to a professional medium and from a reproductive craft to an original and creative art. The different types of writing produced about etching over the course of the nineteenth century initially established a distinct identity and visual language for the medium, and then argued for its increased status in the hierarchies of the nineteenth-century art world. In this chapter I will map out a shift in this writing, from the use of technical terminology in etching handbooks of the 1840s to the theorization of the interplay of line and space and evocative descriptions of the artistic and expressive possibilities of the medium in the writings of Francis Seymour Haden and Philip Gilbert Hamerton in the 1860s, culminating in the promotion of etching in the prestigious format of the art lecture.