While numerous folk etymologies exist for this word.
An alternative spelling attested in 1600 is cornmudgin, in Holland's translation of Livy, rendering frumentarius "corn-merchant". This has been suggested as the original form of the word, but English Dictionary OED notes that curmudgeon is attested some years before this, concluding that cornmudgin was merely a nonce-word by Holland.
The word is attested from the late 1500s in the forms curmudgeon and curmudgen, and during the 17th century in numerous spelling variants, including cormogeon, cormogion, cormoggian, cormudgeon, curmudgion, curmuggion, curmudgin, curr-mudgin, curre-megient.
- (RP) IPA: /kɜː(ɹ)ˈmʌdʒ.ən/, X-SAMPA: /k3:(r)"mVdZ.@n/
- (US) IPA: /kɚˈmʌdʒən/, X-SAMPA: /k@`"mVdZ@n/
Audio (US) (file)
curmudgeon (plural curmudgeons)
- (archaic) A miser.
- An ill-tempered (and frequently old) person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.
- There's a cranky curmudgeon working at the hospital who gives all the patients and other doctors flak. (AKA Doctor House)
- John Doe's old age and stubborn aversion to new ideas make him a curmudgeon of a candidate.
- 2006, The New York Times 
- How to Be a Curmudgeon on the Internet
- 2007, The Times 
- How should I respond, without appearing to be a curmudgeon?