Here’s a big word mystery: How the word “grunge” ever come to describe a sound and musical movement from the US Pacific Northwest? There are plenty of theories. The earliest use of the word seems to have been in the writings of Lester Bangs, the legendary (but dead) rock critic. Then came a letter to the editor of a Seattle music paper written as a joke by a member of a band that would later be called Mudhoney. He used the word “grunge” to describe the sound of a fictional band.
But then other people suggest that Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham should get part of the credit. He wrote a song called “The Crunge” for the band’s 1973 album, Houses of the Holy. Since grunge was influenced by the sludgier side of bands like Zeppelin, maybe the word “grunge” was just a modification of the word “crunge?” Bottom line is that no one really knows where it came from.