early 15c., "overcharge, charge too much expense," from Old French surcharger "to overload, overburden, overcharge" (12c.), from sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + chargier "to load" (see charge (v.)). Meaning "make an extra charge on" is from 1885. The noun is also first attested early 15c. Related: Surcharged; surcharging.