Random Word Post – Dumpster
January 24, 2016 12:13pm CST
I find a random word by flipping through my 2003 The New Webster’s Concise Dictionary and write a quick – often silly – little post about it. # “Dumpster – A large metal container for garbage, fitted with a lid and a mechanism for dumping into a garbage truck: a trade name.” The reason I went with this word is because I saw it capitalized. Why is dumpster capitalized? I wondered. I read the definition and saw that it was a trade name, which was something I didn’t know. I went to Wikipedia and found that it came from the Dempster-Dumpster system patented by the Dempster Brothers in 1935. I bet you didn’t know that.
• Cambridge, England
24 Jan 16
I didn't realise that it was a trade name. Over here we call them 'skips'. I'm not sure of the history of that name but I suspect that it applied in the past to any large [wooden] box for containing loose objects and often rubbish. It seems to be from the same origin as the word 'ship', anyway. There are other things which are trade names but which have now passed into common usage: 'hoover' is the British word for a vacuum cleaner; 'gramaphone' and 'phonograph' were both originally trade names, 'fridge' is a shortened form of 'Frigidaire' and not, as many people suppose, from the word 'refrigerator' itself. It is spelled with a 'd' because it is then more obviously rhymed with 'midge', 'bridge' &c.