"worthless person," 1946, British slang, a southern variant of Scottish get "illegitimate child, brat," which is attested by 1706 ("Gregor Burgess protested against the said Allane that called him a witch gyt or bratt"), according to "Dictionary of the Scots Language"); related to beget on the notion of "what is got." Scots get, gyt, geitt, etc. also can be an affectionate term for a child.
collective name for a type of dry, shrubby plant that grows over the vast dry plains of the western U.S., by 1846, from sage (n.1), to which it has no biological affinity, + brush (n.2). Said to be so called for resemblance of its appearance or odor.
Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. ["Mark Twain," "Roughing It"]
c. 1600, "to shut or confine in a crib," from crib (n.). Meaning "to steal" (1748) originally was thieves' slang, probably from the noun in a secondary sense of "a basket."
This also is the probable source of student slang meaning "plagiarize; translate by means of a 'crib' " (1778). Crib (n.) in the sense of "literal translation of a classical author for illegitimate use by students" (often a Greek work rendered word-for-word into Latin) is from 1827. The meaning "something taken without permission, a plagiarism" is from 1834. Related: Cribbed; cribbing.
mid-15c., "unfortunate event or circumstance," from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + fortune. From c. 1500 as "adversity or ill fortune for which the sufferer is not directly responsible." In 19c., it was a euphemism for "illegitimate child." Related: Misfortunate.
Mischance is the lightest word for that which is really disagreeable; a mishap may be comparatively a trivial thing; both generally apply to the experience of individuals. Misfortune is the most general of these words; a misfortune is a really serious matter; it may befall a person, family, or nation. A very serious misfortune affecting large numbers is a calamity, the central idea of which is wide-spread and general mischief. [Century Dictionary, 1895]