By any other name

Tastes change. Paging through John Worlidge’s 1678 treatise on cider making I was surprised to see ciderist used to describe the cider maker, and wondered why I hadn’t seen this word used much of anywhere else outside this 17th century volume. It faintly echoes orchardist, and has a tidy, modern symmetry to it.

On the subject of ciderist, Google turns up a book title and a blogger and a declaration that the word is obsolete.

Google Ngram results for “ciderist,cider maker,cidermaker” query

Google’s Ngram viewer, which searches word use across “lots of books” over time, turns up a curious trend that suggests ciderist once ran neck-in-neck with the compounded cidermaker from at least 1787, which is where Google’s data begins. The fractured cider maker emerges in the early 1800s and surges to strength in 1890, unseating both previous titles until the 1990s when the compound cidermaker hobbles back into popular usage.

Google’s Ngram data peters out in 2008, just as the two arrive in a dead heat, and cider begins its resurgence. A quick Google search reveals that, as of today, cider maker is indexing over twice the rate of cidermaker: 219,000 cider maker results vs. 102,000 cidermaker results.

Ciderist? 11,300 results.



Cidrbox.com connects people seeking orchard-driven cider with the artisans who make it. Each month we visit a single, distinctive American heritage orchard — where small producers grow, harvest, press, ferment and refine their cider — and we ship their cider to our subscribers. We also sit down for a tasting with the maker, and we share that tasting with you at cidersessions.com.

p.s. When we say cider, we mean hard cider: Artful fermentations of heirloom apples by master cidermakers. You must be at least 21 to drink what we deliver, and you will be asked for your ID and signature at the door.

Like what you read? Give cidrbox a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.