"place where refuse is dumped, pile or heap of refuse matter," 1865, originally of mining operations, from dump (v.). In reference to sites for discarding domestic trash by 1872. Dumping-ground is by 1857. Meaning "any shabby place" is from 1899. Military sense of "collection of ammunition, equipment, etc. deposited in a convenient place for later use" is by 1915. Meaning "act of defecating" is from 1942. Dump-truck is from 1930.
early 14c., "throw down or fall with force, drop (something or someone) suddenly," not found in Old English, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish dumpe "fall hard," Norwegian dumpa "to fall suddenly," Old Norse dumpa "to beat").
The sense of "unload en masse, cause to fall out by tilting up a cart, etc." is recorded in American English by 1784. That of "discard, abandon" is from 1919. Economics sense of "export or throw on the market in large quantities at low prices" is by 1868. Related: Dumped; dumping. Dumping ground is by 1842.
Perhaps the English word originally is from a derivative of Old French garbe/jarbe "sheaf of wheat, bundle of sheaves," though the sense connection is difficult. This word is from Proto-Germanic *garba- (source also of Dutch garf, German garbe "sheaf"), from PIE *ghrebh- (1) "to seize, reach" (see grab (v.)).
"In modern American usage garbage is generally restricted to mean kitchen and vegetable wastes" [Craigie]. Used figuratively for "worthless, offensive stuff" from 1590s. Garbage can is from 1901. Garbage collector "trash man" is from 1872; Australian shortening garbo attested from 1953. Garbology "study of waste as a social science" is by 1976; garbologist is from 1965.
"mass of boiled paste," also "a wrapping in which something is boiled," c. 1600, Norfolk dialect, of uncertain origin, perhaps from some Low German word or from noun dump "lump" (late 18c.). Related: Dumplings.
1848, "practical and scientific methods of preservation of health and promotion of sanitary conditions," irregularly formed from sanitary. The somewhat euphemistic use in reference to garbage and domestic waste disposal is (as in sanitation engineer) is by 1916 (sanitation man).
French nursery rhyme hero (the rhyme first attested in English 1810), earlier "a short, clumsy person of either sex" (1785), probably a reduplication of Humpty, a pet form of Humphrey. Compare Georgy-porgy, etc. Originally, humpty-dumpty was a drink (1690s), "ale boiled with brandy," probably from hump and dump, but the connection is obscure and there might not be one.
'It's very provoking,' Humpty Dumpty said, ... 'to be called an egg — very!' ["Through the Looking-Glass," 1872]