15c. metathesis of Middle English drit, drytt "mud, dirt, dung" (c. 1300), from Old Norse drit, cognate with Old English dritan "to void excrement," from Proto-Germanic *dritan (source also of Dutch drijten, Old High German trizan). Used abusively of persons from c. 1300. Meaning "gossip" first attested 1926 (in Hemingway); dirt bike is 1960s. Dirt-cheap is from 1821. Dirt road attested by 1852.
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