kludge

[klooj]
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.
Also, kluge.


Origin:
1960–65; expressive coinage

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Computing Dictionary

kludge definition

jargon
/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]
(1998-12-09)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
As an engineer, he can recognise a kludge when he sees one.
Here was a simple kludge for a floating platform that might be affordable.
If a test fails, the developers might also fail to understand what went wrong, and the resulting fix might be a kludge.
Also shown are tank cleaning information and kludge age and loading estimates for the test dates.
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