late 14c., nasti, "foul, filthy, dirty, unclean," literally or figuratively, a word of uncertain origin. Middle English Compendium says from Old Norse (compare Swedish dialectal and Danish naskug, nasket "dirty, nasty") with Middle English adjectival suffix -i. There was a variant nasky in early Modern English.
Barnhart suggests Old French nastre "miserly, envious, malicious, spiteful," shortened form of villenastre "infamous, bad," from vilain "villain" (see villain) + -astre, pejorative suffix, from Latin -aster. Another alternative etymology [mentioned in OED] is from Dutch nestig "dirty," literally "like a bird's nest."
From c. 1600 as "indecent, obscene" ("morally filthy"). Of weather, "foul, stormy," from 1630s; of things generally, "unpleasant, offensive; troublesome, annoying," from 1705. Of people, "ill-tempered, mean," from 1825. The noun meaning "something nasty" is from 1935. Related: Nastily; nastiness.
Nasty, in England frequently meaning ill-tempered or cross-grained (Slang Dictionary, p. 186), and in this sense admitted into good society, denotes in America something disgusting in point of smell, taste, or even moral character, and is not considered a proper word to be used in the presence of ladies. [M. Schele De Vere, "Americanisms," 1872]
1715, "yellowish-gray; of the color of natural, undyed cloth," from the trade name for the color itself (1680s), which is from an earlier noun drab, drap meaning "thick, woolen cloth of a yellowish-gray color" (1540s), from French drap "cloth, piece of cloth" (see drape (v.)). The figurative sense of "dull, not bright or colorful" is by 1880.
Apparently this word is not related to earlier noun drab "a dirty, untidy woman" (1510s), "a prostitute" (1520s), which might be from Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," or perhaps it is connected with Dutch and Low German drabbe "dirt;" compare drabble. The notion seems to be of dabbling in the wet and mud.
The meaning "small, petty debt" (the sense in dribs and drabs) is by 1828, of uncertain connection to the other senses.
mid-15c., piggen, of sows, "to farrow, to bring forth piglets," from pig (n.1). By 1670s as "to huddle together in a dirty or disorderly manner, as pigs do, hence, generally, "to act or live like a pig" in any sense. Related: Pigged; pigging. Colloquial pig out "eat voraciously" is attested by 1979.
late 15c., "to discolor, to make dirty," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French esmorcher "to torture," perhaps also "befoul, stain," from es- "out" (see ex-) + morcher "to bite," from Latin morsus, past participle of mordēre "to bite" (see mordant). Sense perhaps influenced by smear. Sense of "dishonor, disgrace, discredit" first attested 1820.
1736, in Kentish dialect, "dirty, foul," a word of uncertain origin, but perhaps related to dung. Meaning "soiled, tarnished, having a dull, brownish color" (from grime or weathering) is by 1751; hence "shabby, shady, drab" (by 1855). The noun dinge "dinginess" (1816) is a back-formation; as a derogatory word for "black person, Negro," by 1848. Related: Dingily; dinginess.
"a slobbering or dirty fellow, a worthless sloven," 1610s, from slubber "to daub, smear; behave carelessly or negligently" (1520s), probably from Dutch or Low German (compare slobber (v.)). Second element appears to be an attempt to imitate French; or perhaps it is French, related to Old French goalon "a sloven." Century Dictionary speculates the -de- means "insignificant" or else is from hobbledehoy.
1939, "clumsy, careless, sloppy; a name applied to anything that is dirty or in bad shape," U.S. Army Air Corps slang, a word of unknown etymology. Origins among cadets in Texas suggest a possible connection to Mexican Spanish rancho (see ranch (n.)), which had connotations of animal filth by 1864; raunch was an old alternative English spelling of ranch. Sense of "coarse, vulgar, smutty" is from 1967. Related: Raunchiness.
1660s, "to wash linen," from noun launder "one who washes" (especially linen), mid-15c., a contraction of lavender, from Old French lavandier "washer, launderer" (12c.), from Medieval Latin lavandaria "a washer," which is ultimately from Latin lavare "to wash" (from PIE root *leue- "to wash"). Criminal banking sense first recorded 1961, from notion of making dirty money clean; the word in this sense was brought to widespread use during U.S. Watergate scandal, 1973. Related: Laundered; laundering.
Old English sweart "black, dark," of night, clouds, also figurative, "wicked, infamous," from Proto-Germanic *swarta- (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Middle Dutch swart, Dutch zwart, Old Norse svartr, German schwarz, Gothic swarts "dark-colored, black"), from PIE root *swordo- "dirty, dark, black" (source of sordid). The true Germanic word, surviving in the Continental languages but displaced in English by black. Of skin color of persons from late 14c. Related: Swartest.
formerly also suttler, "person who follows an army to sell food, liquor, etc. to soldiers," 1580s, from Middle Dutch soeteler "small tradesman, peddler, victualer, camp cook" (Dutch zoetelaar), cognate with Middle Low German suteler, sudeler "person who performs dirty tasks," Middle High German sudelen "to cook badly," Middle Dutch soetelen "to cook badly." Probably also related to Dutch zieder, German sieden "to seethe," from Proto-Germanic *suth-, from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil" (see seethe).