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  • Thanks, vm. I especially liked the Nebraska reference in the article you linked to--and I had no idea the trademark for Dumpster had expired in 2008. Cool!

    December 9, 2016

  • See also Dumpster Fire.

    December 9, 2016

  • "The word “dumpster” sounds so perfectly suited to its purpose that it hardly seems necessary to question its origins. But that would be a mistake, because the real story is even more linguistically charming. The dumpster broke onto the scene in 1936, part of a brand-new patented trash-collection system that introduced the basic concept of the modern garbage truck, with containers that could be mechanically lifted and emptied into the vehicle from above. The system, invented by future mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, George Dempster, took its creator’s name, and the Dempster-Dumpster was born.

    “Dumpster,” the word we use today, emerged from the fortuitous marriage of “dump” and “Dempster.” Though Dempster trademarked the brand name “Dumpster,” the term has been so thoroughly applied as a generic noun that the Associated Press now directs that it be styled in lowercase. No one, after all, would choose to write “trash bin” when “dumpster” would do better.

    Had this sanitation system not been engineered by a man with such a punny name (Dempster-Dumpster), would “dumpster fire” as an insult have ever taken off?"

    -- "Where Did ‘Dumpster Fire’ Come From? Where Is It Rolling?" by Claire Fallon. (

    December 8, 2016