Sagardotegi - Etymology

Etymology

The word sagardotegi is composed of three elements: sagar "apple" and ardo "wine", yielding sagardo or "cider" and the suffix -tegi which denotes a building where an activity takes place. The word thus translates as "cider house". In some Northern Basque dialects cider is called sagarno or sagarano but that only reflects a different development of the Proto-Basque root *ardano "wine".

Although the word ardo today exclusively means "wine", the original meaning seems to have been "fermented drink". This is evidenced by the recorded form mahatsarno "wine"; mahats meaning "grape" so literally "fermented drink from grapes". Thus the original meaning of the related sagardo and garagardo "beer" must have been "fermented drink from apples" and "fermented drink from barley" (garagar "barley").

Collectively all Basque cider houses are referred to as sagardotegi but since the emergence of more restaurant-style sagardotegi, the traditional type where the grill and eating area are under the same roof as the press have been called dolare-sagardotegi/tolare-sagardotegi or "press-cider house".

In Spanish a sagardotegi is called sidrería; cidrerie or chai à cidre in French.

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