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or kluge

[klooj] /kludʒ/
noun, Computer Slang.
a software or hardware configuration that, while inelegant, inefficient, clumsy, or patched together, succeeds in solving a specific problem or performing a particular task.
Origin of kludge
1960-65; expressive coinage Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for kludge

1962, noun and verb, U.S. slang, fanciful coinage by U.S. author Jackson W. Granholm (b.1921). Related: Kludgy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for kludge



  1. Aterm of endearment for a favorite computer, esp a somewhat defective one
  2. A computer program that has been revised and tinkered with so much that it will never work
  3. A ludicrous assortment of incompatible and unworkable components: You see this mechanical kluge (contraption), stop, think, and decide to do something

[1962+ Computer; apparently fr German klug, ''clever,'' with an ironic reverse twist]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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kludge in Technology

/kluhj/ (From the old Scots "kludgie" meaning an outside toilet) A Scottish engineering term for anything added in an ad hoc (and possibly unhygenic!) manner. At some point during the Second World War, Scottish engineers met Americans and the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of kludge became confused with that of "kluge".
The spelling "kludge" was apparently popularised by the "Datamation" cited below which defined it as "An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole."
The result of this tangled history is a mess; in 1993, many (perhaps even most) hackers pronounce the word /klooj/ but spell it "kludge" (compare the pronunciation drift of mung). Some observers consider this appropriate in view of its meaning.
["How to Design a Kludge", Jackson Granholme, Datamation, February 1962, pp. 30-31].
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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