- hump (n.)
- 1680s (in hump-backed), of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch homp "lump," from Middle Low German hump "bump," from Proto-Germanic *hump-, from PIE *kemb- "to bend, turn, change, exchange" (see change (v.)). Replaced, or perhaps influenced by, crump, from Old English crump.
A meaning attested from 1901 is "mound in a railway yard over which cars must be pushed," which might be behind the figurative sense of "critical point of an undertaking" (1914).
- hump (v.)
- "to bend or raise into a hump," 1840, from hump (n.). Meaning "do the sex act with" is attested from 1785, but the source indicates it is an older word. Related: Humped; humper; humping.