1560s, "alchemist," chymist, from Fr. chimiste, from Mod.L. chimista, reduced from alchimista (see alchemy). Modern spelling is from c.1790. Meaning "chemical scientist" is from 1626; meaning "dealer in medicinal drugs" (mostly in England) is from 1745.
jargon (Cambridge) Someone who wastes computer time on number crunching when you'd far rather the computer were working out anagrams of your name or printing Snoopy calendars or running life patterns. May or may not refer to someone who actually studies chemistry. [Jargon File] (1995-02-07)