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early 15c., "giblets of a fowl, waste parts of an animal," later confused with garble in its sense of "siftings, refuse." Perhaps some senses derive from Old French garbe "a bundle of sheaves, entrails," from Proto-Germanic *garba- (cf. Dutch garf, German garbe "sheaf"), from PIE *ghrebh- "a handful, a grasp." Sense of "refuse, filth" is first attested 1580s; used figuratively for "worthless stuff" from 1590s. Garbology "study of waste as a social science" is from 1976.