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Old English heap "pile, great number, multitude" (of things or persons), from West Germanic *haupaz (cf. Old Saxon hop, Old Frisian hap, Middle Low German hupe, Dutch hoop, German Haufe "heap"), perhaps related to Old English heah "high." Slang meaning "old car" is attested from 1924. As a characteristic word in American Indian English speech, "a lot, a great deal," by 1832.
Old English heapian "collect, heap up, bring together;" from heap (n.). Related: Heaped; heaping. Cf. Old High German houfon "to heap."
When Joshua took the city of Ai (Josh. 8), he burned it and "made it an heap [Heb. tel] for ever" (8:28). The ruins of this city were for a long time sought for in vain. It has been at length, however, identified with the mound which simply bears the name of "Tel." "There are many Tels in modern Palestine, that land of Tels, each Tel with some other name attached to it to mark the former site. But the site of Ai has no other name 'unto this day.' It is simply et-Tel, 'the heap' par excellence."