1895, of uncertain origin, possibly from grutching
"complaint, grumbling" (see grudge
). Grouch (n.)
"ill-tempered person" is a 1900 back-formation. Grouch bag
"purse for carrying hidden money" (1908) is the source of the nickname of U.S. comedian Julius "Groucho" Marx, who supposedly carried his money in one to poker games.