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1 definition by Nikolai Luzhin

 
1.
The origin of codger seems to lie in the complex links between cadger and codger (not as a contraction of 'coffin-dodger', as one of my more inventive correspondents has suggested). In some parts of England the two words were used interchangeably, whereas in other regions they were separate words, one meaning 'beggar' and the other 'eccentric/grotesque fellow'. The latter meaning is the one used in an early example of 'old codger', David Garrick's farce Bon Ton, 1775:

"My Lord's servants call you an old out-of-fashion'd Codger."

Men who had fallen on hard times and had resorted to any means possible to keep body and soul together were often those who were too old to find work. A cadger was likely to be a grizzled character wanting to borrow or steal from you; a codger was a peculiar and unfashionable chap, and both were likely to be old. 'Old codger' is most likely to be the linguistic merging of all those images.
David Garrick's farce Bon Ton, 1775:

"My Lord's servants call you an old out-of-fashion'd Codger."
by Nikolai Luzhin November 14, 2009